Other Common Names: Princess tree, royal paulownia
Weed class: monitor list
Native to: China
Why Is It a Noxious Weed?
This plant is on the monitor list. Please contact the state weed board to report location or for more information. We are looking for information on plants that are growing outside of ornamental plantings.
How would I identify it?
Deciduous trees, typically growing 30 to 60 feet tall.
The flowers are in upright pyramidal clusters (panicles) of showy, fragrant flowers. The petals are fused in a tube that widens towards the tip, ending in 5 spreading lobes. Flowers are light purple with yellow markings inside and bloom before the leaves emerge. Flower buds are light brown, hairy spheres that can be found in the winter.
The leaves are arranged opposite each other on the stems. They are broadly ovate (egg) to cordate (heart) shaped. Leaves on adult trees are 6 to 16 inches long, not lobed to somewhat 3-lobed. Leaves are sparsely hairy above and densely hairy on their undersides. Stump spouts, suckers, may have leaves that are twice as large.
Stems have chambered pith.
Fruit Seed Description
Capsules, hairy and glandular, maturing from light green to brown, with four chambers, containing up to 2,000 small winged seeds, 2.5 to 4 mm.
Where does it grow?
Planted as an ornamental tree species, princess tree has become invasive in parts of the eastern United States, notably some southeastern states.
How Does it Reproduce?
Plants spread by seed and by root suckering.