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10/07/2017 11:57 am  #1

What Plant Is This?

I'm guessing it's not a native species, at least not to Algonquin Park. It's located at the east edge of the parking lot for the Western Uplands Backpacking Trail by the Oxtongue River. The shrub stands around 8' high and some of the leaves are approaching a foot in length!

Can anyone offer an ID .. either a sure-thing or even a guess?


10/07/2017 12:03 pm  #2

Re: What Plant Is This?

looks like a basswood to me, but the leaves are not tooth like


10/07/2017 8:19 pm  #3

Re: What Plant Is This?

I'm almost sure it's a  northern catalpa. Although not very often seen that far north.


10/08/2017 10:13 am  #4

Re: What Plant Is This?

Thanks "tents". I believe you've pegged it! I've searched "northern catalpa" on Google Images and it matches leaves, stem markings and form! The fact that it appeared right on the edge of a parking lot makes me wonder if it originally "arrived" by vehicle.

     Thread Starter

8/21/2019 10:36 am  #5

Re: What Plant Is This?

Hey Barry, I work in Ecology in the Algonquin Region. Fortunately I live near the Western Uplands side of the park so I would like to go visit this location. I am more than certain it would be the first record of Northern Catalpa in Algonquin Park. Will it be easy to find? I am wondering if it is still there.

Last edited by ryanmorin (8/21/2019 10:39 am)


8/21/2019 5:11 pm  #6

Re: What Plant Is This?

Hi Ryan

I don't know if it survived the two winters since I saw it. Here's another shot of it showing how very close to the parking lot surface it was ...

     Thread Starter

8/21/2019 6:53 pm  #7

Re: What Plant Is This?

I have a few in my yard here in SW QC. I don't think it would be a stretch for one of the "beans" to have hitched a ride - perhaps caught in a gunnel of a canoe stored outdoors (wasn't me, though).

ETA: It's growing a bit weird, though. My experience is that they grow straight up, with a main trunk - not as a spreading shrub.

Last edited by scratchypants (8/21/2019 6:55 pm)


8/30/2019 2:09 pm  #8

Re: What Plant Is This?

Revisited the tree yesterday on my way out of the park.

Someone has recently cut it back rather roughly. Looking closely at the lower 'trunk', its obvious the 'tree' has been hacked down repeatedly over the years. It has sent out substantial horizontal branches along the ground. Thus the unusual low shrub appearance.

It's only about a quarter of the height it was two years ago. Here's a long shot to relate it to the nearby forest trees ...

Here's a closer shot. Notice the hacked trunk/branches  ...

Getting close ...

About a meter to the north of the main trunk, is another vertical 'trunk' at the end of a horizontal 'branch' .. also hacked back down ... 

Getting the impression that someone's definitely trying to discourage the tree!

     Thread Starter

8/30/2019 2:15 pm  #9

Re: What Plant Is This?

Probably just the result of routine park maintenance cutting back brush along the parking lot. It's unlikely that any of the summer students working maintenance would recognize that particular tree as an unusual occurrence. 


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