Tree Story #5 – Frank’s Indian Bean tree

As we wait for many of our trees to wake from their winter slumber signs are emerging to tell us Spring is surely on its way. To help celebrate its long awaited coming, this month Frank Vince has kindly shared with us some memories of one of his favourite trees. Frank is a retired consultant Physician and is actively involved in the Coventry Tree Wardens Network and also sits on their Committee.

Frank’s tree is the Catalpa Bignonioides, here are few Catalpa facts. The Catalpa Bignonioides is native to the Southern United States. Fossil remains have even been found in the Miocene rocks of the Yellowstone River. It is a deciduous tree with a lifespan of approximately 60 years. It can grow to 40-70 foot high and is famous for its long seed pods. The roots are said to be highly poisonous.

Frank says “The Catalpa Bignonioides (Indian Bean tree) is located opposite the central police station in the city centre. I walk past it frequently as do many Coventrians. It has wonderful flowers and huge leaves. I have watched it for 40 years. It is well established and looks very healthy. Long may it last!!”

Frank’s Catalpa must have many a tale to tell given its location opposite the police station. If you get the chance to see it in full bloom the best time to make a visit is July or August. It does not come into leaf until quite late in the season.

The beautiful Catalpa Bignonioides (Indian Bean Tree) – Coventry City Centre