catalpa flowers
Catalpa flowers

Catalpa, Catalpa spp.

Catalpas are tall trees with large yellow-green heart shaped leaves (see photo below). The overall shape can be rectangular and  irregular or neat and cultivated. The flowers bloom in June. One beekeeper I met said he knew the tree from its “cigars,” or seed pods.

Honey bees will visit leaves and flowers of the catalpa. There are nectaries on the underside of catalpa leaves (see here) — darker, wet looking areas in the crotch of veins.

The flowers are large enough for bees to crawl inside and get nectar. 

catalpa trees
Flowering Catalpas found at edges of fields
Catalpa bark
Catalpa bark
Catalpa tree in winter
Catalpas can be identified in winter from the cigar seed pods that hang down.
catalpa flowers before budburst
Catalpa flowers before budburst
catalpa leaves and seed pods
Catalpa leaves and seed pods