Let Paulownia Tomentosa grow full tree-sized and you will find out why it’s called the Foxglove Tree. Pinkish-lilac flowers in spring, that's why. Or, cut it back hard every spring and it will quickly grow back to 6 feet and amaze you with huge dinner-plate sized leaves. It’s your choice! Full sun. Fertile well drained soil. To 30 feet. 2 litre pot.


Paulownia Tomentosa is native to China and, as well as being known as the foxglove tree, has the common name of empress tree (indeed, it has a synonym of P. Imperialis). It is, however, named in honour of a 19th century princess, Anna Paulowna to be precise, the daughter of Czar Paul I of Russia. The Tomentosa epithet refers to the lots of tiny hairs that adorn the leaves. Paulownia is reputed to be the fastest growing hardwood tree there is, and is commercially cultivated for timber, so if you do decide to go for the full on effect, you won’t have too much of your life to wait. We saw a lovely one in a customer's garden just coming into flower for the first time at four or five years old and 15 feet tall. A real sight. The video below shows you how to take the other approach by cutting back your Paulownia annually to get the big leaf effect.

Paulownia Tomentosa is a hardy tree or large shrub with huge oval leaves and pink foxglove flowers in spring suitable for full sun.

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