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This is a showy tree from the south-eastern parts of the USA, grown for its large, floppy leaves up to 25cm long and 15cm wide. They open later than most, but make a fantastic show, and the weight has been known to snap off branches on mature trees. There's a prolific show of midsummer white flowers, followed by thin, green, bean-like pods (which turn brown) up to 40cm long. Good for pollarding. The 3.7m-high 'Nana' is a better bet for smaller gardens. Don't let the soil dry out, and avoid a site with fierce winds. It has been given the Award of Garden Merit by the RHS.
Plant type: Deciduous tree
Flower colour: White
Foliage colour: Mid-green
Feature: Flowers, Fruit, Dramatic foliage
Sun exposure: Full sun
Soil: Well-drained/light, Moist
Skill level: Beginner
Time to plant: October to March
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