Name that tree

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My wife and I were driving from North Carolina to Georgia recently. As we passed through the NC mountains, we noticed that the back roads were lined by trees that had large light purple/lavender blooms that looked kind of like wisteria. We were not aware of wisteria *trees* in that part of the country. We love the dogwoods by the roads where we live, but were entranced by these trees. Could anybody from that part of the country tell us what is blooming up there?
billo
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Jacarandas?
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Boy, that looks a lot like it. But... from my Googling, Jacarandas are zone 9-10 plants, which is a little warm for growing wild in the Smoky Mountains.
billo
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Jacarandas are not hardy in the Carolinas, numbnuts.

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Every year when it blooms there is a flood of inquiries about this weed tree.
Princess Tree (Paulownia tomentosa)
Its an escape from China.

lined
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That's it. Thanks. A quick Google on it comes up with repeated statements that it is not an appropriate tree for landscaping, but the sites weren't clear on why. It sure is pretty when it blooms, and I don't have a problem with big leaves. What's the down side?
billo
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The down side is that the large seed pods are full of a multitude of minute winged seeds that get carried by the wind and plantlets will pop up everywhere in the garden and elsewhere they were not invited. Being a weed is bad enough but a weedy tree that overpowers native shrubs and trees is a far worse threat. Only the so-called "Tree of Heaven" has been more destructive.
wrote:

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The Princess tree is invasive, invasive, invasive. I recently heard that each of the little capsules (and each flower head probably has 50+ capsules when it goes to seed) has more than 2,000 seeds in it.
If it gets started on your property, it's hard to kill since just the seedlings are difficult to pull out, they sprout right back if you cut them down, etc.
I don't remember if you said where you were located but you might want to consider crepe myrtles. They are quite showy in bloom and in time, the trunk and branches have lots of winter interest.
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Yes, crepe myrtles are popular here. I plan to have a few!
billo
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I know I've said this before, but I have a Paulownia kavakamii and it does not overbear with seeds and plants. P.tomentosa, now that is certainly noxious.
opined:

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Yes you have said that.
However, Paulownia tomentosa is the weedy species running rampant over the countryside and that is where he saw it, not planted in someone's garden.
wrote:

weed
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Hey, I saw a garden center selling purple loosetrife and when I pointed it out, the manager argued with me that it "wasn't the one which is the noxious weed." I said, "yes it is." She walked away. She is also selling Nandina domestica and wax leaf ligustrum and Chinese tallow. I may give misinformation here now and then, I know I'm not perfect, but these garden centers suck. I reported her only because she would not even consider for a moment that I knew what I was talking about.
opined:

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There you go taunting those highly paid plant scientists working at the garden centers again. Its bad enough that they are forced to make fools of themselves on a daily basis catering to the great unwashed minions. Now you have to remind them of the limits of their wisdom too?
Its bad enough that they are forced to sell the crap plants to the public. You have to remind them that the crap is actually a threat to the environment too? Should they be held responsible for any damage these plants might do? Its not as though they humiliated Iraqi terrorist prisoners that killed innocent citizens and American soldiers. (We don't want terrorists to feel bad for committing unspeakable evil acts, do we?) What do you want from them a apology?

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Yeah, fancy that, huh. We have a problem with hydrilla down here. If they think that's bad, wait till the loosetrife plants itself everywhere up and down the lower Colorado River. Eh. What garden center pays high? I want that job! ")
Now, as for Rumsfeld...he should be stripped naked and made to perform on dubya on Iraqi television. That would be some good watchin.
As for the prisoners being terrorists, well, I don't know who or what they are, but I thought Americans were operating under the Geneva Conventions and that soldiers who hold prisoners captive were properly trained. Guess not.
oh well
opined:

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It isn't the fault of the employee that these huge mega box stores are selling noxious weeds. These companies are trying to get the customer to spend all their money there by creating a one stop shopping experience. (That's why you will find air-conditioners next to out door furniture. < grin>) They have no experience with gardening or flowers--everything that is sold is a choice of someone at 'corporate', in some distant place, who has no idea of the local growing conditions or laws. (In Idaho it is illegal to import garlic and onions from out of state. You must buy from a local grower. This prevents white mold from spreading. But every year Wally-world brings it in extremely early, on big trucks,in the middle of the night.) I call the county extention agent or the State Agricultural board--they have the right to come in and demand paperwork and levy fines. They also enforce local noxious weed laws. Contact your county agent and explain the situation--in farm country enforcement of agricultural laws- like noxious weeds- is taken seriously. Disease like white mold can devastate entire crops. But please lay of the poor wage slave--it's hard work ( been there-done that) This is an example of just one more reason to patronise local merchants and garden shops--even if the prices are a little higher.
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On 8 May 2004 22:47:17 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com (gardengal) opined:

This is a two store, high end garden center. It's called Red Barn Nursery and Garden center. It's not a huge box store, doesn't have air conditioners next to plants and the person I spoke to is the horticultural manager who oversees purchases and sales of perennials. Clearly she was selling Lysimachia vulgaris and she denied it was "the same one" that's noxious. I indeed did contact the local environmental groups and hopefully they will address it immediately. I grow very tired of pompous nursery workers, managers and the like who look down their noses at customers because they point out something very obvious. She was very rude and contrite.
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Its bad enough when the dolts don't know anything about the plants they sell but when they try to pass themselves off as experts at the same time, that's it.
Got into a disagreemant about some local celebrity that works at a local well-known nursery. Some one said that she has been a manager there for several years and really knew her stuff. I said she only knows what she reads on the plant tags and after all these years she should have retained at least some basic info about the stuff they sell.

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My apologies--It sounded like you had visited a big box. No, that's no way to treat a customer. I actually enjoy customers who have some knowledge of what they're doing--it makes them more interesting to talk to. I hope your environmental groups have some sucess.
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com (gardengal) in

but not in suburban areas. :-(
check regularly http://news.google.com/news?sourceid=navclient&ie=UTF-8&q=eradicate +% 7C+invasive+%7C+exotics+species+ if you like to feel slightly depressed :-)
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Yes, I made the mistake of planting purple loosestrife a couple of years ago. It's a serious workout trying to pull it out in the spring.....
wrote:

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