Paulownia tomentosa 'Lilacina' at Cathays Cemetery

Paulownia tomentosa 'Lilacina' 0

Paulownia tomentosa 'Lilacina'
late April 2021

Paulownia tomentosa 'Lilacina' 1

Paulownia tomentosa 'Lilacina'
early May 2021

Paulownia tomentosa 'Lilacina' 2

Paulownia tomentosa 'Lilacina'
mid June 2021

Grid reference ST 18006 78435
Common name Foxglove tree
Alternative name Paulownia lilacina
Origin West China
Deciduous Yes
Status Rather rare
Map section W
Planted by Malcolm Frazer c.1995
Height 9M April 2021
Girth 138cm @ 0.9M
Reference 658

This tree is in the southern part of section W, which is towards the south end of the cemetery.

It was planted as Paulownia fargesii but is actually Paulownia tomentosa 'Lilacina'.

The flowers first began to appear in late April and were gone by early June. By early July the largest leaves were typically 21cm broad and 24cm long.

Paulownia tomentosa 'Lilacina' bark

Paulownia tomentosa 'Lilacina' bark
late April 2021

Paulownia tomentosa 'Lilacina' fruit1

Paulownia tomentosa 'Lilacina' old fruit capsules
late April 2021

Paulownia tomentosa 'Lilacina' bud1

Paulownia tomentosa 'Lilacina' buds
late April 2021

Paulownia tomentosa 'Lilacina' flower1

Paulownia tomentosa 'Lilacina' flowers
mid May 2021

Paulownia tomentosa 'Lilacina' flower2

Paulownia tomentosa 'Lilacina' flowers
mid May 2021

Paulownia tomentosa 'Lilacina' flower3

Paulownia tomentosa 'Lilacina' flowers & new leaves
mid May 2021

Paulownia tomentosa 'Lilacina' leaf1

Paulownia tomentosa 'Lilacina' leaves
early June 2021

Paulownia tomentosa 'Lilacina' leaf2

Paulownia tomentosa 'Lilacina' leaf
early June 2021

Paulownia tomentosa 'Lilacina' seed

Paulownia tomentosa 'Lilacina'
early June 2021

Paulownia tomentosa 'Lilacina' leaf3

Paulownia tomentosa 'Lilacina' mature leaf
early/mid June 2021

Paulownia tomentosa 'Lilacina' leaf4

Paulownia tomentosa 'Lilacina' new leaves
early July 2021

Paulownia tomentosa 'Lilacina' bud2

Paulownia tomentosa 'Lilacina' new flower buds
mid August 2021

Paulownia tomentosa 'Lilacina' bud3

Paulownia tomentosa 'Lilacina' new flower buds
mid August 2021

General tree description for Paulownia tomentosa 'Lilacina'

Paulownia tomentosa 'Lilacina' is a form of the Foxglove tree P. tomentosa, differing in its unlobed leaves and paler lilac flowers which are pale yellow in the throat. When first introduced in Britain, at the Royal Botanical Gardens (RBG) Kew, it was named P. fargesii and distributed as such, but was renamed when found to differ from P. fargesii.

The true P. fargesii was described in 1896 from a specimen collected by Père Farges in China. It was first collected and brought to Britain by the RBG expeditions to Sichuan 1988-2003. The Hillier Manual of Trees & Shrubs (2019, page 284) states that P. fargesii flowers are "freely speckled in the throat and with a creamy basal stain".

General tree description for Paulownia tomentosa

Paulownia tomentosa is a broad, spreading tree with a straight trunk, growing up to 25 metres tall. It has very large (up to 35cm) leaves, heart-shaped or sometimes five-lobed, woolly on both sides. Fragrant lilac-purple flowers that resemble the foxglove flower are produced before the leaves in early spring. The fruit is ovoid, 3 to 4 cm long, containing numerous tiny winged seeds.