Seminole Crop E News

Agricultural News for Farmers and Agribusiness in SW Georgia

Question of the Week – Catalpa tree

Posted by romeethredge on May 29, 2014

Last week I had a photo of Catawba tree blooms.

Catalpa bignonioides is the Southern Catalpa. Other common names for this species is common catalpa, Eastern catalpa, Indian cigar, Indian bean, catawba, smoking bean, caterpillar tree, cigar tree, and fish bait tree. The name “catalpa” is the native American name for the tree. Catalpa trees are the only host for the catalpa sphinx moth (Ceratomia catalpae). Some years the large larvae will be heavily parasitized by a hymenopteron – a small wasp.

There’s a lot of discussion about why we don’t get caterpillars on all trees and we don’t have many in deep southwest Georgia at all now. It could be that the parasitic wasp gets them quickly. It could be that there is a naturally occurring disease that wipes them out or some folks say it could be due to insecticide use near them.


We have a good UGA publication about this tree accessible here

This week I have a weed ID question. What is this small plant?





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