University of Maryland Extension

Paulownia (Empress or Princess Tree)*

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Empress Tree
Paulownia tomentosa

flowering paulownia
Blooming Paulownia
Photo: James H. Miller, USDA Forest Service,

Life Cycle: deciduous tree

Growth habit: small to medium tree that reaches a height of 30-60 ft. Produces clusters of light purple, fragrant flowers in the spring. Paulownia is a highly competitive, invasive* ornamental tree that grows rapidly 

young paulownia tree
Paulownia seedling
Photo: Leslie J. Mehrhoff, University of Connecticut, 

closeup paulownia flower
Flowers in spring
Photo: Leslie J. Mehrhoff, University of Connecticut, 

Reproduction: produces numerous winged seeds, dried capsules (houses the seeds) mature in the fall and remain attached to the tree through winter. Suckers from root or stump  

immature fruit cluster
Fruit cluster in June
Photo: James H. Miller, USDA Forest Service,

Conditions that favor growth: disturbed natural areas, including forests, streambanks, and steep rocky slopes. Prefers sun

Cultural control: hand pull young seedlings, including the root system when the soil is moist. Cut young trees at the base if flowering to prevent seed formation

Additional Information


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