Foxglove trees or Empress Tree (paulownia tomentosa)
Foxglove trees-sometimes referred to as the Empress tree is a deciduous tree having spectacular large leathery green leaves and thick shoots. Can be grown just for its leaves. Flowers are on panicles which look in winter as orange pubescent buds. Can withstand cold winters but can be killed in Spring if a sharp frost follows a mild spell during which the buds can open. Best in very mild climates which can offer a good British summer as possible to give a display of flowers which open late in spring before the leaves emerge and are trumpet shaped quite long and violet-blue flowers They ripen to shiny green and later brown and horribly sticky fruit.
Foxglove trees grow on through the summer nearly into October and so the tip of the shoots cannot be hardened off against the winter frosts and always dies back leaving a black weathered look. A very young tree will look almost hollow and dead in the winter months. It may be advised to try and cover the tips with a garden fleece when it is very young in winter but obviously when more mature will lose this weathered look.
in 10 yrs=6metres - 20yrs=8-12metres Ultimate height 8-12 metres
Grows best in full sun. Dry to medium, drought tolerant.
With plenty of sunshine flowers are pink/grey . Tip of shoot always dies back. Leaves very large making it spectacular tree.