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It is popular in its native China for reforestration, roadside planting and as an ornamental tree. It grows well in a wide variety of soil types, notably poor ones, but needs a lot of light and does not like a high water table. Paulownia timber is a pale whitish coloured wood with a straight grain. Its characteristics of rot resistance and a very high ignition point ensures the timber's popularity in the world market. Paulownia grown on plantations generally has widely spaced growth rings and is therefore much less valuable. The wood is also important in China, Korea, and Japan for making the soundboards of stringed musical instruments such as the guqin, guzheng, pipa, koto, and kayagum.
Testing by CSIRO in Australia has shown that Paulownia wood is very attractive for wood-boring insects. Paulownia species are also used as food plants by the larvae of some Lepidoptera species including Endoclita excrescens.
Paulownia is known in Japanese as kiri (桐), specifically referring to Paulownia tomentosa; it is also known as the "princess tree". It was once customary to plant a Paulownia tree when a baby girl was born, and then to make it into a dresser as a wedding present when she gets married. It is the badge of the government of Japan (vis-à-vis the chrysanthemum being the Imperial Seal of Japan). It is one of the suits in hanafuda, associated with the month of December. Japan: An Illustrated Encyclopedia (page 1189; Tokyo: Kodansha, 1993. ISBN 4-06-931098-3) states:
Paulownia wood is very light, fine-grained, soft, and warp-resistant and is used for chests, boxes, and clogs (geta). The wood is burned to make charcoal for sketching and powder for fireworks, the bark is made into a dye, and the leaves are used in vermicide preparations. The fine grained soft and warp resistant properties also make Paulownia wood exceptionally suited for making wooden

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Keywords:China, Empress Tree, Foxglove Tree, Paulownia, Paulownia tomentosa, Princess Tree, beautiful, flowering, flowers, plant, timber, tree

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