Tree with large purple flowers?

I am in S. Texas. This week some unknown tree has bloomed in town, and it has the most magnificent large purple blossoms I have ever seen. They are pretty rare here....I suspect it is because it is not a native species. The tree is large but doesn't (I don't think) grow as tall as an oak. The leaves are fairly wide and rounded in shape. I thought it might be a Magnolia Galaxy, but the blossoms don't look like magnolia at all. I can't find a good on-line pictorial reference to use for ID'ing unknown trees and plants.
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Jimbo wrote:

Hello Jimbo,     It sounds like it may be a Paulowina tomentosa aka "empress tree". www.ces.ncsu.edu/depts/hort/consumer/factsheets/trees-new/paulownia_tomentosa.html
Gello
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Don't think that is it, as the empress tree has heart-shaped leaves. Also it has clusters of a dozen or more bell-shaped blossoms that are much like foxglove. This tree I am seeing here has very large individual purple flowers....they are not clustered at all, they are entirely separate. The blossoms are as large as magnolia blossoms. Am trying to find out what it is so I can order one.

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Maybe a Bauhinia?
--
elizabeth, Baton Rouge, LA
http://community.webshots.com/user/elott63
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Bingo! That's it...thanks!

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I don't know if it's hardy in Dallas or not, but if you want to buy one, I would send you to Northaven Gardens in Dallas, or Rohde's in Garland.

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