Empress Tree (Paulownia tomentosa), packet of 200 seeds, organic [TN, AL, NC, CT no]
Family: Figwort (Scrophulariaceae)
Hardy to Zones 6 to 12.
Deciduous tree native to central and western China. This is one of the most impressively large-leaved (elephant ear size) plants that you can grow. The plant commonly increases 15 feet in height in a single year. I let some of them go to full size (to collect the flowers and the seed) and I keep one near the greenhouse cut back so it bushes out hugely each year and provides shade for the transplanters in the summer months. The tree figures strongly in lore and legend, and the poles are useful around the farm for trellising. The fast growth and the great surface area of the leaves makes this one of the most significant “carbon sinks” available on the planet. Removes carbon dioxide from our atmosphere and replaces this gas with breathable oxygen at approximately twice the rate of a “normal” tree. Traditional usage: manufacture of medicinal grade charcoal. Plant prefers full sun to part shade and a moist soil surface (roots run close to the surface). Space trees at least 20 feet apart.
Packet of 200 seeds, Certified Organically Grown [not available to TN, AL, NC or CT]