Bean tree beauty

I love Indian bean trees , I am always pleased to see one . Yesterday after a short walk from Baker Street underground station I came across a fantastic specimen.

Feeling very lucky I found two trees last week in a garden centre reduced from £60 to £5.49 . I have one and my Mum has one. We are both looking forward to when they spread their branches , flower and produce their beans !

These are the heart shaped leave of the young tree in my garden glossed up by the rain.

The Indian bean tree ( Catalpa bignonoides) originates from North America. This is the southern bean tree from Alabama, Georgia,Louisiana and Florida. The Northern bean tree (Catalpa speciosa) originates from the mid west. Here are some bean tree facts:

  • Heartwood of catalpa was used in the manufacture of railroad ties in the past. Today, catalpa is used for the manufacture of fence posts, beams, furniture and millwork in North America.
  • Catalpa is also known as cigarette tree.
  • Catalpa is sometimes used as tonewood in guitars.
  • It is planted to stabilise soil as it has an extensive root system.
  • The roots are poisonous.

This tree is always a delight, great leaves, beautiful flowers and interesting seed pods. I am going to collect some seeds next time I see one and try and germinate them.


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