58. Taiwan Empress Tree

This purple flowered Empress Tree is apparently widely cultivated in Taiwan and other warm regions. It had long been considered a valid species but is now considered to be a hybrid between Paulownia fortunei and Paulownia kawakamii. Here in Aiken these two species do not bloom at the same time making natural hybridization most unlikely. This plant was grown from seed collected in Taiwan and distributed by the U.S. National Arboretum in Washington, D.C.