[permaculture] Catalpa a legume

Marimike6 at cs.com Marimike6 at cs.com
Tue Nov 2 21:15:10 EST 2004

Catalpas, or monkey beans, are a little more wide ranging than what can be 
found on your source. They state the tree grows in Florida, Alabama, Missouri 
and Louisiana.

They're common in Washington, DC and grow well in the Delaware Valley. This 
USDA page has them also in places like Maine, and even North Dakota:


And this Floridata page has a nice picture of a flower cluster, as well as 
the interesting info that the tree is highly regarded as a source for catawba 
worms, which are good for catching bream.


I'm surprised to hear of their uses in cabinetry, because the wood is kind of 
soft and pulpy. They get uglier as they get older because the limbs break off 
under their own weight. For that reason a lot of people consider them to be a 
trash tree. 

I think they're lovely. In the spring they have these giant clusters of 
blossoms that are just really elegant, and the large heart shaped leaves are always 

M. Elvin

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