previous button tour home button tour page button next button

An individual instance of Paulownia tomentosa (princesstree)
Image of organism
Permanent unique identifier for this particular organism:


This tree, which is in rather poor condition, is along the small dropoff drive for Branscomb Quadrangle. It was probably planted by the Vanderbilt Garden Club in the 1960's soon after Branscomb Quadrangle was built.

Princess tree is a non-native tree with several distinguishing traits.  The leaves range in size from moderate on large trees to enormous on saplings.  They are probably the largest simple (i.e. not compound) leaves of any tree that grows around here.  They are typically arranged oppositely on the twig, but they can also be in whorls of more than two leaves.  The bluish-purple, tubular flowers are quite pretty.  They develop into pods that split open to disperse small black seeds.  From a distance, the clusters of pods look a bit like grapes.

Princess tree is an invasive species often seen growing along roads.  In this area it is not as aggressive as other invasives such as tree of heaven, privet, and bush honeysuckle, but in east Tennessee it is a more serious problem.  In addition to spreading easily, it also regrows rapidly from the stump when cut down.

This particular tree is described on p. 56 of The Trees of Vanderbilt.

home button FindMe button QR Code

 Load database and switch to thumbnail view

Use this stable URL to link to this page:

This organism is a living specimen that is part of the  Vanderbilt University Arboretum  with the local identifier 4-1022.

This particular organism is believed to have managed means of establishment.

This organismal entity has the scope: multicellular organism.


Paulownia tomentosa

(Thunb.) Siebold & Zucc. ex Steud.

sec. Wofford Chester 2002

common name: princesstree
family: Scrophulariaceae
Identified 2002-09-09 by Steven J. Baskauf


Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Davidson County, Tennessee, US
Click on these geocoordinates to load a map showing the location: 36.14526°, -86.80548°
Coordinate uncertainty about: 10 m.

Location determined from Google maps.

Occurrences were recorded for this particular organism on the following dates:

The following images document this particular organism.
Click on a thumbnail to view the image and its metadata. Load database and enable navigation by taxon and organism.

Image View
whole tree (or vine) - winter
leaf - margin of upper + lower surface
fruit - as borne on the plant
fruit - lateral or general close-up
fruit - lateral or general close-up
fruit - section or open
fruit - section or open
whole tree - general
whole tree - general

Wofford Chester 2002 =

Wofford, B. Eugene and Edward W. Chester, 2002. Guide to the Trees, Shrubs, and Woody Vines of Tennessee. University of Tennessee Press, Knoxville, TN, US.

Metadata last modified: 2019-10-16T22:24:42.018-05:00
RDF formatted metadata for this organism