One of Nature’s Mysteries to Solve

Hey there!

Sorry for the absence of new mysteries! Hope you had a chance to study up on those confusing vines before your summer outings!

This week’s mystery is a blooming tree!

Mystery #153

Do you recognize it? Give us a guess in the comments and I’ll return later with the answer!


We were surprised to discover this exotic-looking tree is a North American native! It’s a catalpa, but we must admit we are only guessing it’s the Northern Catalpa, Catalpa speciosa, because of where we live. It’s in a yard, and you humans tend to plant things out of their range for their flowers.

Catalpa flowers

Nice ones, huh? These flower panicles–fancy name for the flower cluster Miz Flora says–are rather showy and the tree is rather pretty, if given the right amount of room to grow.

Catalpa tree

It also has the coolest hanging seed pods in the fall, which hang on for a long time.

Catalpa seed pods

Did you notice the huge, heart-shaped leaves? They make an excellent rain shelter for wildlife, but more importantly they are the sole food of another butterfly! The caterpillars of the catalpa sphinx moth eat them and may even completely clear out the leaves of a single tree.

Catalpa tree underneath

Clearly, we need more catalpa trees out there!


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