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

  • n. Any of various, usually deciduous trees of the genus Catalpa, especially C. bignonioides or C. speciosa, native to the United States and having whorled, heart-shaped leaves, showy clusters of white flowers, and long, slender, cylindrical pods. Also called Indian bean.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. 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 the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. 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 The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A tree of the genus Catalpa.
  • n. [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 WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

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


Creek kataƚpa : ka-, head + taƚpa, wing (from the shape of its flowers).
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
A variant of catawba which originated when Scopoli, the describing botanist, incorrectly transcribed the name. (Wiktionary)



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