This fast-growing tree (it can grow 15' a year) competes aggressively with native species in disturbed areas in the mountains and foothills of North Carolina and other southeastern states.
It can be identified by its large heart-shaped leaves (arranged oppositely along the branches) and its pretty lavender flowers (on mature trees). The flowers grow in upright clusters during the spring. It produces sticky, green oval-shaped fruits and small, winged seeds. The tree can grow up to 50' and has smooth gray bark (with slight cracks).
Fact Sheet: Princess Tree
Photo credits (left to right): Leslie J. Mehrhoff, University of Connecticut, Bugwood.org;Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources - Forestry Archive, Bugwood.org
Photo Credit: Steve Hoyle