Foxglove Tree

A Gardener’s Guide to the Foxglove Tree


The Foxglove Tree is known by many different names to include the formal name of Paulownia Tomentosa, as well as Princess Tree, Royal Pawlonia, and Empress Tree.  Regardless of the name preferred, this deciduous tree is beautiful and a favorite choice for people living in many parts of the world, although native to China.  The shoots of this tree are dense and lobed, and it produces beautiful green leaves and a pink/purple colored lilac flower with a remarkable fragrance.

The leaves of the Foxglove Tree are not only large, but they also appear in the spring before the flowers bloom on panicles about 10 inches long.  This tree produces fruit as well, which is shaped like an egg and measures approximately three inches in length.  Inside the fruit are many small seeds, which are winged and dispersed when the tree is watered or from high wind.

The Foxglove Tree blooms late in spring, making it an ideal flower for arranging bouquets that can be enjoyed indoors.  As a perennial, once the Foxglove Tree is planted, it will continue to bloom year after year, and usually without much care.  The shoots are very strong and thick, often up to two inches in diameter and at maturity, the tree can easily grow to 10 feet tall, sometimes taller.  Today, the Foxglove Tree is a popular choice for people wanting a shade tree and with the gorgeous, fragrant flowers, it adds incredible charm to any outdoor space.

To help the Foxglove Tree grow big and strong each year and continue to produce its beautiful foliage and flowers, it must be cut to the ground each year.  Best of all, because the Foxglove Tree is so tolerant of soil, it does well with most conditions.  For this reason, this tree can be enjoyed by people all over the world.  However, for the healthiest tree, we recommend the soil be fertile and well-drained.  Additionally, the Foxglove Tree prefers lots of sunlight.

This particular tree is very fast growing and in fact, it can be aggressive.  Therefore, to keep it clean and neat, the Foxglove Tree should be cut back on occasion during the growing season.  Although considered a hardy tree, it can experience problems with mushroom rot, powdery mildew, wood rot, canker, and dieback.  More information on these potential risks, people can conduct research online or check with a local gardening center.  If symptoms are spotted several things can be done.

People use the Foxglove Tree for a number of things.  For instance, several trees could be planted in a row to block out the view of a neighbor’s home/property or block out noise from a busy street, the tree could be enhanced with borders planted around the base, or planted to be a focal point.  Because the flowers are showy, using illumination in the evening to show off the Foxglove Tree would make any property look amazing.

Probably one of the most fascinating of all facts about the Foxglove Tree is that it has a natural ability to generate new roots and stems extremely fast.  Because of this, the Foxglove Tree is one of the few species that can actually survive a wildfire.  This tree also grows well in large cities with significant amount of pollution since it is unaffected.  For this reason, many people in California choose to grow the Foxglove Tree.



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