Q. Need tree identification -- is this a Paulownia?

Can you identify this tree from the attached photo, sent to phs-info@pennhort.org? This tree came up as a volunteer tree in my neighbor's yard in southeast Georgia. It is a very fast growing tree, has purple blooms and seed pods with 6-8 seeds that look similar to a green pecan. Almost every seed that falls to the ground will sprout and make another tree.


Hi Tommy, your photo was forwarded to us in the library where we run a Garden Q&A service. I showed it to our very knowledgeable volunteer and we both agree that your tree is a Paulownia.

Wikipedia article 

Plant Finder article

Google Images of Paulownia tomentosa

The Paulownia comes from China and was introduced here in the U.S. in the 19th Century. It is fast-growing and is considered to be invasive here. That said, it's also used as an ornamental tree. For example, if you ever visit the world-famous Longwood Gardens just outside Philadelphia, you will see an allée of Paulownias growing there. It's also grown in our nearby Logan Circle right here in downtown Philadephia.

If you have any more gardening questions, please use this link to ask them:


You can search our database of questions and find the answer. In fact, if you search on Paulownia, you will find some information on that tree in our database. Thanks!


  • Last Updated Jan 08, 2019
  • Views 62
  • Answered By Janet Evans

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