from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun Any of various usually deciduous trees of the genus Catalpa of North America, the West Indies, and East Asia, especially C. bignonioides or C. speciosa of the United States, having large heart-shaped leaves, showy clusters of white flowers, and long slender pods.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A tree of the genus Catalpa.
  • noun [capitalized] [NL.] A small genus of bignoniaceous trees, with large simple leaves, terminal panicles of showy flowers, and long linear pods with winged seeds.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun (Bot.) A genus of American and East Indian trees, of which the best known species are the Catalpa bignonioides, a large, ornamental North American tree, with spotted white flowers and long cylindrical pods, and the Catalpa speciosa, of the Mississipi valley; -- called also Indian bean.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun Any tree of the genus Catalpa, the family Bignoniaceae. The two North American species, the southern catalpa, Catalpa bignonioides, and the northern catalpa, Catalpa speciosa — along with the yellow catalpa, Catalpa ovata, from China — are often planted as ornamentals because of their showy flowers and decorative bean pods, though others regard the bean pods as a nuisance.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun tree of the genus Catalpa with large leaves and white flowers followed by long slender pods


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Creek katałpa : ka-, head + tałpa, wing (from the shape of its flowers).]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

A variant of catawba which originated when Scopoli, the describing botanist, incorrectly transcribed the name.


Help support Wordnik (and make this page ad-free) by adopting the word catalpa.



Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.