Department of Natural Resources
princess tree Paulownia tomentosa
With an annual
growth in height of 15 feet, the princess tree is one of the fastest-growing
trees in the world. It is a deciduous tree native to China. Its heart-shaped
leaves are large and simple, and the large, fragrant flowers are borne
in upright clusters. Flowers are produced from April through May. Initially
planted as an ornamental, the wood is also highly prized for carving.
The rounded seed pods remain on the tree throughout the winter. A single
tree may produce several million seeds, which germinate readily and establish
themselves in almost any type of habitat. Due to its rapid growth, it
quickly outgrows native trees such as oaks or maples. Princess tree grows
in the southern one-third of Illinois.
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