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Species Profiles

Princess Tree

Princess treeScientific name: Paulownia tomentosa (Thunb.) Sieb. & Zucc. ex Steud. (ITIS)

Common names: Princess tree, empress tree, royal paulownia

Click image to enlarge

Selected Resources

Native To: China (Longbrake and McCarthy 2001)

Date of U.S. Introduction: 1840s (Longbrake and McCarthy 2001)

Means of Introduction: Introduced as an ornamental (Innes 2009)

Impact: Grows and produces seeds rapidly, and displaces native species in disturbed areas (Innes 2009)

Current U.S. Distribution:


Selected Resources:

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Council or Task Force

Southeast Exotic Pest Plant Council Invasive Plant Manual - Princess Tree
Southeast Exotic Pest Plant Council.


Pacific Island Ecosystems at Risk (PIER) - Paulownia tomentosa
USDA. FS. Institute of Pacific Islands Forestry.

Invasive Plant Atlas of New England (IPANE) - Princess tree)
University of Georgia. Center for Invasive Species and Ecosystem Health.

Invasive Plant Atlas of the United States - Princesstree
University of Georgia. Center for Invasive Species and Ecosystem Health.

Texas Invasives Database - Paulownia tomentosa

Invasive Species Compendium - Paulownia tomentosa
CAB International.

Global Invasive Species Database - Paulownia tomentosa (tree)
IUCN. Species Survival Commission. Invasive Species Specialist Group.

Federal Government

U.S. National Plant Germplasm System - Paulownia tomentosa
USDA. ARS. National Genetic Resources Program. GRIN-Global.

Fire Effects Information System (FEIS) - Paulownia tomentosa
USDA. FS. Rocky Mountain Research Station. Fire Sciences Laboratory.

PLANTS Database - Princesstree
USDA. NRCS. National Plant Data Center.

Fire Science Brief - Paulownia tomentosa: Exotic Tree, Native Problem (Jul 2010; PDF | 649 KB)
Joint Fire Science Program.
See also Publications - Briefs for more resources

State Government

Alabama Forestry Commission.

Invasive Species Leaflet - Paulownia tomentosa (Princess Tree) (Mar 2010; PDF | 209 KB)
North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. Forest Service.
See also: Forest Health Publications for more Invasive Species Leaflets

Invasive Plants in Pennsylvania: Empress or Princess Tree (PDF | 290 KB)
Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.
See also: Invasive Plant Fact Sheets for plant species (trees, shrubs, vines, herbs and aquatic plants) that have impacted the state's natural lands

Princess tree (Paulownia tomentosa)
Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.


Invasive Plant Hit List: Paulownia (Dec 2009; PDF | 1.15 MB)
University of Kentucky. Cooperative Extension Service.
See also: Kentucky Woodlands Magazine - Forest Health Articles for more publications

Invasive, Exotic Plants of the Southeast - Princess Tree
North Carolina State University. Cooperative Extension. Going Native: Urban Landscaping for Wildlife with Native Plants.

Invasive Plant Fact Sheet - Empress-tree, Princess-tree (Nov 2011; PDF | 291 KB)
University of Pennsylvania. The Pennsylvania Flora Project of Morris Arboretum.
See also: Invasive Plant Fact Sheets for additional invasive plants in Pennsylvania


Integrated Taxonomic Information System. Paulownia tomentosa. [Accessed Sep 10, 2014].

Innes, R.J. 2009. Paulownia tomentosa. In: Fire Effects Information System. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory.

Longbrake, A.C., and B.C. McCarthy. 2001. Biomass allocation and resprouting ability of princess tree (Paulownia tomentosa: Scrophulariaceae) across a light gradient. American Midland Naturalist 146(2):388-403.

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Last Modified: Sep 08, 2018
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