Are These Catalpa Tree Seedlings? August 2022
Last week, I posted some photos of the process of late-season Catalpa tree seed sowing in a few seed cells that we had on hand and talked about how I hoped they'd germinate and we would (maybe) get a few seedlings to harden off before the frost hits in the next six to eight weeks. I started the Catalpa tree seed project back last last year when I harvested a few Catalpa seed pods and tried to get them going two ways: first by putting them in the fridge for the Winter to get that cold stratification. And, by also popping open some brown seed pods and direct sowing some of them in a couple of spots. I covered that Catalpa tree seed sowing here in a post on Christmas Day.
Back late last year, I planted these seeds in two spots: along the fence. And in a large wine barrel planter. Both, frankly...on a total whim.
The ones along the fence have never amounted to anything. Between laying on a thick layer of mulch and seasonal weeding, these things didn't have a chance. But, the ones in the wine barrel planter? I totally forgot about them. Until last week. When I went back and revisited this post and remembered that I tucked a few native tree seeds in there. I had put that picked vintage garden windmill on top of the planter and didn't think much about the seedlings. My plan was to grow annual vines, but that didn't work out this year.
But, when I removed the windmill, what did I find? A series of 12" or so tall seedlings. And, seedlings with large, heart-shaped leaves. See below for a couple of photos of these 'found' seedlings.
Catalpa speciosa – Northern Catalpa – can have whorled or opposite leaves. In fact, they can have both arrangements on the same tree and even the same limb. In winter, the whorled arrangement of their three leaf scars is considered an important aid to the identification of the tree. The USDA Plant guide for Catalpa speciosa states “Leaves are generally opposite on large branches and often whorled in 3 on young stems.