Catalpa FlowerBe quick
Enjoy the Catalpa’s beautyFor its beauty is too brief.A mass of white flowers in MayAnd then no more for a yearA flower at first sightLike a cotton ball then an orchidDo I see
In its beautyThe eye of a witchDelicate and invitingBewitching all comersIts odor quite enchanting
Until, I find this strumpet stingsA wasp buried in its trumpet
This bitch just bit my nose
That brings me to my senses
One of the prettiest flowers in Kansas grows on the Catalpa tree, native to Kansas and much of the south. The flower gives the appearance of a white Iris or orchid.
Put your nose up to the blossom and smell the fragrant odor. But beware, the blossom attracts all sorts of insects and especially wasp whose bodies are perfectly matched for the flower.
Catalpa tree along stream bank, Butler County, Kansas
It is found along stream banks, lowland wooded areas, requiring moist but well-drained soils. It is an ornamental tree and therefore is used in landscaping. It flowers in May and June and by October produces long seed pods.
Catalpa blossom, Butler County, Kansas
Another interesting feature are the large tear-drop leaves, which can be 6 to 12 inches long, and almost as wide. The color is bright green. In fall the leaves turn dark brown or black from frost and drop to the ground soon thereafter.
Catalpa flower and wasp
Learn more Kansas Wild Flowers