Wild Flowers Provence

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Paulownia tomentosa

Arbre impérial
Foxglove Tree


Additional information

Plant family


Provence Verte

Flower colour


Flower size

38-50 mm

Flowering months



Leaf type



15 m


Originally from China. The light, soft seeds were used as packing material by Chinese porcelain exporters before the use of bubble wrap. If in transport the cases were damaged, the seeds dropped out and took root when the conditions were suitable.

In China, an old custom was to plant a Foxglove tree when a baby girl was born and to cut it down when she was of marital age. The wood was then carved into useful utensils.

Several Asian string instruments are made from the wood.


The flowers, funnel-shaped and resembling foxgloves, appear before the leaves. They are borne in terminal panicles (10-30 cm).
The brown-felted buds are visible on the tree from autumn.


Cordate heart-shaped. Heart-shaped with shallow lobes or serrated margins, on long stalks, 15-35 cm.

Fruits Seeds

Capsule: egg-shaped in 2 parts, numerous seeds, 35-50 mm.


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