Catalpa ovata

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Catalpa ovata
Scientific classification Edit this classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Clade: Asterids
Order: Lamiales
Family: Bignoniaceae
Genus: Catalpa
C. ovata
Binomial name
Catalpa ovata

Catalpa kaempferi Siebold & Zucc.

Catalpa ovata, the yellow catalpa[1][5] or Chinese catalpa[1] (Chinese: ; pinyin: ), is a pod-bearing tree native to China. Compared to C. speciosa, it is much smaller, typically reaching heights between 20 and 30 feet (6 and 9 m). The inflorescences form 4–10-inch-long (100–250 mm) bunches of creamy white flowers with distinctly yellow tinging; individual flowers are about 1 inch (25 mm) wide. They bloom in July and August.[5] The leaves are very similar in shape to those of Paulownia tomentosa, having three lobes (two are abruptly truncated on either edge, with a third, central, slightly acute, pointed lobe forming the leaf apex), and are darkly green.[5][6] Fruits are very narrow, foot-long pods.[5]

Although native to the more temperate provinces within China (Anhui, Gansu, Hebei, Heilongjiang, Henan, Hubei, Jiangsu, Jilin, Liaoning, Nei Monggol, Ningxia, Qinghai, Shaanxi, Shandong, Shanxi, Sichuan, Xinjiang),[1] C. ovata is also cultivated in North America and Europe, and has become a parent of Catalpa × erubescens with the American species Catalpa bignonioides.[1][5] It is commonly used to make the undersides of qin.[7]



The plant contains dehydro-alpha-lapachone[8] (DAL) which inhibits vessel regeneration, interferes with vessel anastomosis, and limits plexus formation in zebrafish.[9] DAL also controlled the development of the fungi rice blast, tomato late blight, wheat leaf rust, barley powdery mildew and red pepper anthracnose (Colletotrichum coccodes (Wallr) S Hughes). The chemical was particularly effective in suppressing anthracnose.[10]


Referenced in the Zhuangzi.[11]


  1. ^ a b c d e Gen. hist. 4:230. 1837 "Catalpa ovata". Germplasm Resources Information Network. Agricultural Research Service, United States Department of Agriculture. Retrieved December 7, 2009.
  2. ^ a b Gen. Hist. iv. 230. Plant Name Details for Catalpa ovata. IPNI. Retrieved December 7, 2009. Notes: =Kaempferi
  3. ^ Abh. Akad. Muench. iv. III. (1846) 142. Plant Name Details for Catalpa kaempferi. Vol. 4. IPNI. Retrieved December 7, 2009. Notes: Japon
  4. ^ "Catalpa ovata - G.Don". Plants For A Future. Archived from the original on July 6, 2010. Retrieved December 7, 2009.
  5. ^ a b c d e Phillips, Roger (1978). Trees in Britain, Europe and North America. Cavaye Place, London, England: Pan Books Ltd. p. 96. ISBN 978-0-330-25480-9.
  6. ^ Phillips, Roger (1978). Trees in Britain, Europe and North America. Cavaye Place, London, England: Pan Books Ltd. p. 42. ISBN 978-0-330-25480-9.
  7. ^ Yeung, Juni (2010). Standards for the Guqin February 2010 Draft. Toronto: Toronto Guqin Society.
  8. ^ Dehydro-alpha-lapachone Archived 2012-04-02 at the Wayback Machine
  9. ^ Garkavtsev I, Chauhan VP, Wong HK, Mukhopadhyay A, Glicksman MA, Peterson RT, Jain RK.,"Dehydro-alpha-lapachone, a plant product with antivascular activity." Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 2011 Jul 12;108(28):11596-601
  10. ^ Cho, JY; Kim, HY; Choi, GJ; Jang, KS; Lim, HK; Lim, CH; Cho, KY; Kim, JC (2006). "Dehydro-alpha-lapachone isolated from Catalpa ovata stems: Activity against plant pathogenic fungi". Pest Management Science. 62 (5): 414–8. doi:10.1002/ps.1180. PMID 16550502.
  11. ^ "Chinese Text Project Dictionary".

External links[edit]

Media related to Catalpa ovata at Wikimedia Commons Data related to Catalpa ovata at Wikispecies