Catalpa bignonioides Aurea

Golden Indian Bean Tree

A smaller, golden form of the common Indian bean tree, making a wonderful splash of colour in the garden, Catalpa bignonioides Aurea is a medium-sized, slow-growing, deciduous tree with a short trunk and spreading, rather erratic habit. The big, velvety leaves are heart-shaped; they emerge early with a purple or bronze flush, soon turning clear yellow, then yellow-green over the summer, and yellow again in autumn. Big panicles of creamy-white foxglove-like flowers with purple- and orange-spotted throats appear in June and July on established trees, and are followed by long, slender seed capsules – the ‘beans’ of the name – which persist into winter. An excellent tree for pollinators. For smaller gardens, this tree can be coppiced, which results in even bigger leaves. Golden Indian bean tree holds the RHS Award of Garden Merit.

Site: Sheltered
Soil: Any moist but well drained soil; tolerates heavy clays
Position: Full sun
Season of interest: Spring to autumn
Hardiness: Fully hardy
Height: eventually over 26’ (8m) Spread: 20’ (6m)
Type | Size: Pot | 2L / 3ft
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