The Chinese bean tree is full of flower on the Fairway.
Growing to 11m in height this species originates from the forests of western China, and was introduced into cultivation in 1849 by the German physician and botanist P F von Siebold. The flowers are far more subtle than those of the more widely grown C. speciosa, being a soft yellow in colour with deep red flecks and golden markings in their throats, and are held in narrow, pyramidal panicles. The flowers are followed by slender green seedpods, which grow to 40cm in length, and these will mature to a dark brown and will split along their length to reveal the bean-like seeds. Glabrous leaves usually have the cordate, heart-shaped form associated with the genus, though they are occasionally two or three-lobed. A member of the predominantly tropical family Bignoniaceae, the genus Catalpa is related to the trumpet vine, Campsis radicans and the African sausage tree, Kigelia africana.