Saturday, August 13

Catalpa Seed Pods

The Catalpa Tree is producing the long seed pods for which is it known. They look like long beans. Right now they are green, but will turn black and fall off in a month or so.

Some interesting facts about Catalpa Trees:

  • It is a member of the trumpet vine family
  • Northern Catalpa Trees have larger leaves then Southern Catalpa Trees and are a slightly different species
  • The name comes from the Native American word Catawba of the Catawba Tribe of South Carolina
  • It is also knowns as the Cigar Tree or Indian Bean Tree
  • Native American peoples used the leaves and bark as a poultice
  • The Catalpa Sphinx Moth caterpillar eats only the leaves of this tree. It can defoliate the tree, but usually does no permanent harm. Fishermen use the caterpillars as fish bait so often plant these trees as a good source of bait.
  • The largest Catalpa Tree is in Lansing, Michigan
  • They were once planted near railroad tracks to be a source of wood for railroad ties and eventually naturalized around the country.
  • It is usually pronounced Catalpa in the North, Catawba in the South.


Anonymous said...

Can these beans be eaten or dried and used for flour?

Anonymous said...

I honestly don't know so I recommend you call your local cooperative extension office and ask them. They will have accurate information for you. You can find your state's office at this USDA site:

Ms McMurry said...

My grandfather planted one these trees at our home and said it was a medicine tree. He Native American but, I was wondering the significance of it. One those question that we should asked when we where younger.

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