Haitian catalpa


Haitian catalpa, or French oak, is native to Jamaica and Hispaniola. It reaches a height of 100 feet, with a trunk 3 or more feet in diameter. The leaves are simple, light-green, with blades up to 5 inches long. Flowers are about 1 inch wide and appear in abundant inflorescences up to 4 inches long. Fruits are very slender pods, up to 1.5 feet long, that open lengthwise to liberate many minute winged seeds. It flowers and produces fruits during most of the year. The generic name derives from the word catawba, used by indians of this tribe, to refer to two related species from the eastern United States. The species name refers to the very long pods.

The photographed tree is behind the Monzón Building. There are several other trees in the campus; for example, in front of the Student Union, at the northeast corner of the Luchetti Building, west of the Sánchez Building, on the north corner of the Stefani Building, and west of the Entomology Laboratory. The largest trees were planted by Hipólito Irizarry beginning in 1954.

Catalpa longissima (Bignoniaceae)