Purple trees?

tennesseekathy(7)April 9, 2006

Does anyone know what the purple trees are that are blooming all over here in East Tennessee right now? I use to know but I don't remember what they are called. And they are not in any of the books I have. Does anyone know of some good books for looking up plants and trees in East Tennessee?

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brandon7 TN_zone(7)

They are redbuds.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2006 at 11:57PM
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Thanks. You just confirmed what I thought, but when I said redbud trees first that just didn't seem right to me as they are more purple looking. I guess my first instinct was right.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2006 at 10:40PM
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katiedidcottage(z7 TN / Chattanooga)

Now I know what redbuds are and how they look and they do look kind of purple, but right now (the first and second week of April) in western Tennessee, I've seen a couple of trees that are blooming that look really PURPLE. I am talking a light grape sucker color, light lavender color and not the pink-violet color of redbuds. I wonder if they could be that tree that I've seen advertised as the fastest growing tree ever or something like that. The one tree I see almost everyday is close to our railroad track in front of a home builder's store front and is about 15-20 feet tall. Has anyone seen one of these and can anyone identify it? I'll try to get a photo of one if I can.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2006 at 12:36PM
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brandon7 TN_zone(7)

Katie: Any chance you could post a pic of the tree you are talking about?

    Bookmark   April 18, 2006 at 7:21PM
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Soeur(z6b TN)

I suspect you're seeing Paulownia tomentosa, Princess Tree or Empress Tree. It's a chinese tree that has spread readily in the SE US, often seen in waste places and by roadsides. It is fast growing, with bloom scapes of clustered lavender purple blooms that are reminiscent of Catalpa.

If you google Paulownia you'll see a mix of websites, some extolling the virtues of the species as a fast growing timber tree, and others focusing on its invasive qualities.

Check it out at the site below and see if that's what you're seeing.


Here is a link that might be useful: Paulownia tomentosa

    Bookmark   April 18, 2006 at 9:18PM
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katiedidcottage(z7 TN / Chattanooga)

Yep, that looks like the two that are near me. Someone who lives behind me has one and there is one in our small town. Thanks for identifying it!


    Bookmark   April 19, 2006 at 9:29AM
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Just drove down 75 through Tennessee and fell in love with the purple oriental looking trees. Any suggestions as to what it is? It was everywhere along the highway. I have a picture on my computer but it wont copy & paste to here. Any suggestions?

    Bookmark   March 31, 2011 at 10:18AM
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