Position: Full sun
Soil: Moist, well drained
Flowering period: Late spring
Eventual Height: 12m
Eventual Spread: 10m
Hardiness: 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, 9a, 9b, 10a, 10b
Paulownia kawakamii is a fast growing deciduous tree with an umbellate crown. Its mid green leaves are cordate with entire margins, hairy above and below, up to 8cm long and 6cm across. Its fragrant violet flowers have purple and yellow marks inside, are up to 5cm across and are borne as upright panicles. Its roots are deep rooting.
Paulownia kawakamii, commonly known as Sapphire Dragon Tree, is native to east China, Taiwan and Japan. In its native habitat it grows in mixed deciduous forests. This tree is classified as critically endangered according to the IUCN Red List.
The etymological root of the binomial name Paulownia is named in honor of Anna Paulowna, a princess of The Netherlands. Kawakamii is named after Takiya Kawakamii (1871 – 1915), a Japanese botanist.
The landscape architect may find Paulownia kawakamii is useful as an attractive spring flowering tree. Once established this tree is drought tollerant.
Ecologically, Paulownia kawakamii flowers are attractive to pollinating insects.
Paulownia kawakamii prefers moist, fertile, well-drained soils. It tolerates most pH of soil.
Paulownia kawakamii requires little maintenance. Dead or damaged branches may be removed in late winter to early spring. If this tree is pollarded its new growth produces a crown with much larger leaves (up to 60cm long).