The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa


September 19, 2013

Respect our trees -- trees have families, too


The Catalpa Tree (Catalpa speciosa) also known as the Catawba, Indian Bean, Cigar tree or fish Bait Tree are from the Bignonia family a group of tropical plants and was derived from the Catawba Native American (tribal totem). The name Catalpa was due to a transcript error (Catawba) on the part of the describing botanist (Scopoli).

These short-lived trees may be as small as 40 feet up to 100 feet. In June, the trees in the area burst into bloom. The blossoms are white, orchid like and with a mild fragrance. Long seed pods follow the flowers and will hang on the tree into winter. It is the main food source for the Sphinx Moth (Ceratomia catalpa). The Catalpa Tree is the only tree that these caterpillars attack. There are two recognized species of Catalpa or Catawba. The Southern Catalpa C. bignonioids and the Northern Catalpa C. specious. The Southern Catalpa is smaller than the Northern Catalpa with leaves that grow in a whorled pattern rather than those opposite each other as in the Northern Catalpa.

Because of the shape of their leaves they are often confused with the Tung Tree (Vernicia fordii) in the southern U.S. or the invasive Paulowuia tomentosa imported from China.

They have brittle lumber that generally is used for fence posting and other wood structures, such as furniture or beams.

The roots of the Catalpa Tree are poisonous. The seeds contain a mild narcotic and should not be consumed.

Tom Powell is a Master Gardener Intern Volunteer at the Bickelhaupt Arboretum, retired construction manager, city of Camanche zoning enforcement officer and past Tree Board member for the city of Camanche.

Text Only
  • Dangerous Darkies Logo.png Redskins not the only nickname to cause a stir

    Daniel Snyder has come under fire for refusing to change the mascot of his NFL team, the Washington Redskins. The Redskins, however, are far from being the only controversial mascot in sports history.  Here is a sampling of athletic teams from all areas of the sports world that were outside the norm.

    July 29, 2014 3 Photos

  • Off and on the record Let us now praise anonymous sources.The new White House press secretary got into a familiar old spat with the White House press corps the other day over the use of anonymous sources.Josh Earnest — has there ever been a more perfectly named White Hous

    July 25, 2014

  • Be more informed

    Blame the city.That is a favorite pastime of many, including me at times. Driving over that pesky pothole or paying that annual property tax bill can lead to some choice words referencing the city. Nobody takes the brunt of being the scapegoat more t

    July 25, 2014

  • CCC thanks community, collaborators for successful movie night Clinton Community College would like to thank those who participated in the free outdoor movie showing of “Captain America – Winter Soldier” on the evening of Friday, July 18.We are grateful to have such wonderful community collaborators in the Erick

    July 25, 2014

  • Lindley, Tom.jpg Better police needed for college teams enticed to cheat

    The NCAA once cracked down on colleges that went too far luring top prospects, then it targeted teams that lathered players with special treatment. That was until the NCAA's get-tough approach backfired, rendering it ineffective and creating an opportunity for those who want to play dirty.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Lindley, Tom.jpg Expectations too high for a rehabbing Woods

    Tiger Woods finished near bottom last weekend at Royal Liverpool, drawing out his drought of major tournament wins. Despite the disappointing showing, Woods' return to form remains a matter of when, not if.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Todd Akin's back again to talk of rape So, Todd Akin is back and he’s talking rape again.You remember what happened last time. The would-be Missouri senator torpedoed his campaign two years ago after suggesting in a TV interview that if a woman is a victim of “legitimate rape,” she is unl

    July 22, 2014

  • Sadness remains as two-year mark passes in cousins' case As most citizens of the Cedar Valley are well aware, July 13 marked two years since the disappearance of cousins Elizabeth Collins and Lyric Cook-Morrissey of Evansdale.The passage of time provides some semblance of healing, but the sadness, particul

    July 22, 2014

  • UI needs to keep its admission standards high There’s been a lot of talk lately — most of it coming from the leadership of the Iowa state Board of Regents — about the University of Iowa not being passionate enough about its recruitment of in-state undergraduates. Regent president Bruce Rastetter

    July 21, 2014

  • Vote fraud myths meet voting rights reality Before she was allowed to register and vote for the first time in Franklin County, North Carolina, Rosanell Eaton had to read the entire preamble to the U.S. Constitution out loud in front of three men in the county courthouse.Eaton is black. The thr

    July 21, 2014 1 Story


With the Clinton County Justice Coordinating Commission and the Clinton County Board of Supervisors discussing proposals to construct a new jail, do you think the time has come for Clinton County to construct such a facility?

     View Results