catalpa

[kuh-tal-puh]
noun
any of several trees constituting the genus Catalpa, of the bignonia family, especially C. speciosa, of the central U.S., or C. bignonioides, of the southern U.S., having opposite, sometimes whorled leaves, clusters of white flowers, and long, beanlike seed pods.
Also called Indian bean.


Origin:
1720–30, Americanism; (< Neo-Latin) < Creek katałpa, equivalent to ka-, combining form of iká head + tałpa wing (apparently so called from the shape of the flower)

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World English Dictionary
catalpa (kəˈtælpə)
 
n
any bignoniaceous tree of the genus Catalpa of North America and Asia, having large leaves, bell-shaped whitish flowers, and long slender pods
 
[C18: New Latin, from Carolina Creek kutuhlpa, literally: winged head, referring to the appearance of the flowers]

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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

catalpa
c.1740, from an American Indian language of the Carolinas, perhaps Creek (Muskogean) /katalpa/, lit. "head-wing."
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
The air, misted with the memory of rain, smelled of catalpa and breeze.
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