Paulownia fortunei better known as the Foxglove tree is one of my favourite trees producing beautiful foxglove like flowers during late spring before the leaves are produced. The large purple0pink flowers are fragrant and produced in profusion creating quite a talking point. My advice is don't plant one of these where lots of people will see it as you won't be able to leave the house without someone asking 'what is that!'
If all this isn't enough I first saw this tree at the garden of the late, great, Christopher Lloyd in Great Dixter where he coppiced Paulownia fortunei each year cutting the trunk to just above ground level and allowing one bud to subsequently grow into a sapling. And boy do they grow, producing a straight sturdy stem up to 4 or more metres high with no side branches. Along the trunk in opposing pairs massive tropical broad leaves are produced often the size of dustbin lids creating outrageous drama and an air of the tropics to the English summer.
If you are creating a jungle garden Paulownia fortunei is essential!
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