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Plant called a "Palawalanea tree"

Monique Reed monique at mail.bio.tamu.edu
Mon Oct 4 09:50:16 EST 2004

officer wrote:
> I am looking for information about a plant that my wife ordered from a
> mailer and we planted it . It is now 11 feet tall and has leafs like
> elephant ears. It is supposed to flower but as of yet we have seen NO
> flowers only leafs that are 20 inches across. Was wondering if anyone has
> heard of this plant or knows the Real name for it. any info would be
> great.  Thanks  G Jenkins

I suspect your wife ordered a Paulownia tree. They are widely touted
for fast-growing shade and pretty flowers, both of which they can
deliver.  (Yours may not be old enough to flower or may be getting too
high a nitrogen/phosphorus ratio for flowering.)  However, they are
notoriously brittle-wooded and can drop some real widow-makers if not
pruned of dying branches on a regular basis.  Longwood Gardens in
Kennett Square, PA had/has a nice avenue lined with these Princess
Trees, but they maintain them religiously so they don't take out any

Try a Google search for Paulownia tomentosa, and I bet you dig up lots
of info.  

Monique Reed
Texas A&M

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