The catalpa is a deciduous tree from North America, widely used on public roads. His name is of Indian origin: derived from the Catawba, native of the state of South Carolina, in the US these trees were named catawba.
The use of the catalpa term is therefore a transcription error by the botanist Giovanni Antonio Scopoli, who made the first formal description of the gender in his Introduction to the Natural History of 1777. The word bignonioides may come from the similarity of the morphology of their flowers with the ones of the genus Bignonia.
It was introduced in Europe in the eighteenth century, and by the next century there are headlines not only about its cultivation but also about its spontaneous growing in Spain. By 1805 this tree plantations in the Royal Botanical Garden of Madrid are mentioned. No wonder that from here they moved to other gardens of the monarchy as the Real Alcázar of Seville.