Thanks to the spring, the Paulownias of the Avenue Carnot are now blooming. Those trees are very rare in Paris. They give our Avenue an unique charm
The genus, originally Pavlovnia but now usually spelled Paulownia, was named in honour of Anna Paulowna, queen consort of The Netherlands (1795–1865), daughter of Tsar Paul I of Russia. It is also called “princess tree” for the same reason.
Paulownia is known to be an early colonizer of sterile soils (such as after a high temperature wildfire), because its seeds are easily killed off by soil fungi. In fact, it is so difficult to start Paulownia by seed that successful plantations purchase rootstock or seedlings—or propagate their own. Remarkably, despite the fact that seeds, seedlings, and roots of even mature trees are so susceptible to rot, the wood itself is not and is widely adored for boat building and surfboards.