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Year-round, Catalpa trees have a way of almost immediately capturing the attention of everyone who comes to visit High Park.

These trees are easily recognizable for a lot of reasons! They have large intricate twisted trunks, that wind and curl into crooked branches, they have long bean shaped seed pods, and they also have giant heart shaped leaves. These leaves can even be bigger than most people’s faces!

From early in the summer all the way to the fall, these trees are just a little extra eye-catching because the beautiful flowers that grow on the catalpas’ branches are in bloom. Catalpa flowers grow in large bunches (panicles) and they are white with a bright yellow stamens, and purple patterns on the inside. They kind of resemble orchids or irises!

The next time you are enjoying a summer walk through High Park, look up and around to notice the small clusters of white flowers in the Catalpa trees. Be sure to take a look on the ground too as some of these flowers have already started to fall. The fallen flowers can invite you to take a closer look and they also make great little hats for your fingers!

To learn more about trees with the High Park Nature Centre, check out our “Tree-mendous trees” Online Naturalist Course for adults!