Paulownia fortunei, the Foxglove Tree.
This amazing tree can be grown in two separate ways. As a tree it will grow into a perfectly symmetrical specimen, producing its foxglove-like flowers on the branches before the large leaves appear. Alternatively, it can be cut back in March, leaving a couple of buds, and it will then put all of its effort into one or two buds and produce leaves up to one metre across! Coppicing in this way may be useful in the smaller garden as the tree will only reach 3 or 4 metres in one season. Coppicing produces no flowers as the tree needs to be 2 years old before it blossoms.
This tree is useful for valuable timber, biomass, decorative and shading and ground stabilisation & de-contamination.