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  Princess tree  

Department of Natural Resources

Illinois Exotic Species:
princess tree Paulownia tomentosa

With an annual growth in height of 15 feet, the princess tree is one of the fastest-growing trees in the world. It is a deciduous tree native to China. Its heart-shaped leaves are large and simple, and the large, fragrant flowers are borne in upright clusters. Flowers are produced from April through May. Initially planted as an ornamental, the wood is also highly prized for carving. The rounded seed pods remain on the tree throughout the winter. A single tree may produce several million seeds, which germinate readily and establish themselves in almost any type of habitat. Due to its rapid growth, it quickly outgrows native trees such as oaks or maples. Princess tree grows in the southern one-third of Illinois.

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