59. White Flowered Empress Tree

This large and fast-growing tree from Taiwan is one of several kinds of Empress Tree seen here. In early spring before the large heart shaped leaves come out it is spectacular with huge clusters of large white trumpet shaped flowers marked with purple in the throat. This specimen was received from the U.S. National Arboretum having been grown from seed collected in Taiwan. A related and more cold hardy Chinese species with purple flowers Paulownia tomentosa is widely naturalized in eastern U.S.