42 Foxglove tree Paulownia tomentosa

Family: Paulowniaceae

Called the foxglove tree because the purple flower resembles a foxglove. Extremely fast growing, the tree can grow 6 metres in a year. Paulownia is used in Chinese agroforestry systems because it grows fast, its wood is light but strong and its leaves make good fodder for farm animals. In the 1990’s Paulownia was widely promoted in NZ as a forest tree that could be milled seven years after planting. However growing the forests was more difficult than expected and not many of those enthusiastic plantings have survived. Timber good for boat building