Catalpa, commonly called catalpa or catawba, is a genus of flowering plants in the family Bignoniaceae, native to warm temperate and subtropical regions of North America, the Caribbean, and East Asia.
Most Catalpa are deciduous trees; they typically grow to 12–18 metres (40–60 ft) tall, with branches spreading to a diameter of about 6–12 metres (20–40 ft). They are fast growers and a 10-year-old sapling may stand about 6 metres (20 ft) tall. They have characteristic large, heart-shaped leaves, which in some species are three-lobed. The large leaves and dense foliage of Catalpa species provide good shelter from rain and wind, making the trees an attractive habitat for many species of birds. They do not present many threats of falling limbs, but the dark-brown fruit husks that they drop in late summer may be a nuisance. Growing catalpa trees is easy but they have the tendency to naturalize in areas where the tree isn’t native. This potentially invasive potential is more common in border states around the plant’s natural range.