Saturday, June 13, 2009

NoMi, Land Of A Thousand Catalpa Trees...

Photo By John Hoff

Catalpa trees have spectacular, almost orchid-like flowers in the spring. They have long, inedible, bean-like pods when make them quite a messy tree, but I would assert the flowers are so incredible that it's worth putting up with the mess.

Catalpa trees are everywhere in North Minneapolis, and it kind of makes me wonder how THAT happened. They are an unusual tree and, as far as I can tell, they don't just spring up on their own but require a deliberate effort to plant. So how did NoMi come to have so many large, mature catalpa trees? Was there a "Johnny Catalpa" who (like Johnny Appleseed) went around planting catalwa seedlings, and learning the culture of the Native Americans?

When there is some kind of odd pattern of trees, I always want to know the how and the why. For example, I'm still trying to figure out why Dinkytown near the U of M has so many gingko trees. I wrote an opinion column about it, once, but I didn't really manage to solve THAT mystery.

This photo of a catalpa tree was taken in the yard of Collier White, during his "Huggable North Minneapolis" event.

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Actually Catulpa trees do spring up on thier own. They a tree that fairly easly generates it self from seed.
They are quite hardy and accoding to this artical they where very cheep to buy around the time North Minneapolis was growning