Catalpa, a flowering tree found in the Northern Hemisphere. It blooms in early summer, bearing tubular, bell-shaped flowers that are white, speckled with brown. Long, narrow pods enclose a row of flat, light-brown seeds. The catalpa's wood is soft but durable, and is widely used for making fence posts and railroad ties.
There are 11 species of catalpa. Two species grow in the United States. The common catalpa, or Indian bean, grows from New England to Florida. It averages about 60 feet (18cm) in height. The Western catalpa is found from Minnesota to the Gulf of mexico. It sometimes reaches a height of 100 feet (30 cm).
Catalpa make up the genus Catalpa of the family Bignoniacae. The common catalpa is C. bignonioides; the Western catalpa is C. speciosa.