Big Trees, Big Flowers

When I started cataloguing my finds, the question quickly arose: do I count everything?  Even weeds?  Even trees?  The answer was yes (mostly; I don’t log white clover or dandelions).  Of course trees.  Oaks and maples don’t have the most interesting flowers, but some tree flowers are just spectacular.  Here are two.

tulip poplar  Liriodendron tulipifera; Magnoliaceae (magnolia family)

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This tree typically gets up to 150′ tall, though occasionally up to 200′, and is one of the tallest trees in the eastern US.  The flower is several inches across.  It’s easy to see the resemblance to the magnolias.

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northern catalpa Catalpa speciosa; Bignoniaceae (trumpet-creeper family)

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Northern catalpa grow only about half the size of tulip poplar (rarely up to 100 feet), but the large clusters of fragrant flowers are spectacular.  The leaves can be 12 inches long.  Although it’s listed by the USDA as potentially invasive, there don’t seem to be many specimens in this area.

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