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Princess Tree

Paulownia tomentosa (Thunb.) Sieb. & Zucc. ex Steud.
Synonym(s): princesstree and royal paulownia

Princess Tree Princess Tree
Michael Shephard, USDA Forest Service



Commodities Affected:
Forestry and Natural Areas



Princess tree occurs throughout much of the eastern United States from Texas to New England where it can be found growing along roadsides, stream banks and forest edges. It tolerates infertile and acid soils and drought conditions and adapts to a wide variety of habitats. Princess tree invades forests, stream banks and some rocky habitats, displacing native plant species.



In 100 Years of Change in the Distribution of Common Indiana Weeds by William and Edith Overlease (2002) reported that princess tree was not recorded in Indiana in 1899 (Coulter’s Catalogue of Indiana Plants.  In 1940 (Deam’s Flora) recorded finding princess tree in Harrison, Lawrence, and Washington counties. Dean refers to “princess tree escapes from planted trees he had observed or have been reported by others: 1925 (Harrison County), 1935 (Washington County), 1935 (Lawrence County).”  In 2002, Overlease recorded that princess tree in the following 15 Indiana counties: Brown, Clark, Crawford, Dearborn, Dubois, Floyd, Gibson, Harrison, Jefferson, Lawrence, Perry, Pike, Posey, Spencer, and Warrick. Overlease also indicated that princess tree was found in the following counties; however, there was no evidence of seeding in or spreading: Decatur, Greene, Hamilton, Monroe, Parke, Sullivan, Union, Wayne and Wells.