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Paulownia tomentosa

Foxglove tree

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Key information

Plant type

Deciduous shrub

Flower colour






Skill level


photo by Jonathan Buckley, copyright GAP Photos (42426)

Plant details

The foxglove tree, so called after the shape of its eye-catching flowers, is a large rounded tree, with an open arrangement of stiff, thick branches. Left to its own devices, it will grow very large and produce a great display of flowers. The buds must be sheltered from hard frosts to ensure the violet blooms appear in spring. Coppicing a tree annually sacrifices the flowers but produces 3m (10ft) stems with enormous leaves up to 60cm (2ft) across. The Royal Horticultural Society has given it the Award of Garden Merit (AGM).

Family: Scrophulariaceae

Genus: Paulownia

Species: tomentosa

Plant type: Deciduous shrub

Flower colour: Lavender

Foliage colour: Mid-green

Feature: Flowers

Sun exposure: Full sun

Soil: Well-drained/light

Hardiness: Hardy

Skill level: Experienced

Height: 1200cm

Spread: 1000cm

Time to plant seeds: September to May

Flowering period: May to May

Reader reviews


I'd like to know how long it takes for a specimen to flower? I have had mine for 4 years, and got it as a 1-2 year old plant. I haven't coppiced it.


My foxglove tree took over 10years to flower and I haven't cut it back at all. Going to some time this year or early next


I have an unpruned Paulownia - produced flower buds for the first time last Autumn at 8 years old from seed - got frosted off and now has flower buds again - fingers crossed

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