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Tree of the month: Yellow-leaved Indian bean tree

Posted: June 30, 2023 at 09:51 am Author: Rosie Anderson Dan Crowley

Yellow-leaved Indian bean tree: Catalpa bignonioides ‘Aurea’

Yellow-leaved Indian bean tree - Photo credit: Liz Hassall Catalpas are usually noted for their showy flowers in summer, but yellow-leaved Indian bean tree is, unsurprisingly, most noted for the colour of its leaves. Like the typical form of the species, it is late to leaf out, the foliage eventually enlarging to dinner-plate-like dimensions, the leaf colour improving as the season progresses.

For those who are more flower-minded, July is also the time to come and admire its large trumpet-shaped blooms, which are held on pyramidal inflorescences. The common name of the typical form - bean tree - is inspired by the long, narrow fruit pods which hang from the tree in late summer and autumn. Other catalpas to look out for in the collection include typical C. bignonioides, C. ovata, C. fargesii and C. × erubescens.

Yellow-leaved Indian bean tree - Photo credit: Gina MillsYellow-leaved Indian bean tree - Photo credit: Mike Westgate

Where to find it?

Our sole specimen shines brightly along Main Drive in the Old Arboretum, grafted onto western catalpa, C. speciosa, which like C. bignonioides, is native to the United States, though has a more restricted native range than that species.

Find the Yellow-leaved Indian bean tree on Westonbirt's Arboretum Explorer map...

Discover our other Tree of the month blogs...