swamp cottonwood Salicaceae Populus
heterophylla L. symbol: POHE4
Leaf: Alternate, simple, broadly ovate, serrated margin, heart-shaped base, 4 to 7 inches long, petiole round, green above and paler below.
Flower: Species is dioecious; males occur in 1 inch long catkins, females occur in a sparse flowered catkin, appearing before leaves.
Fruit: Half inch capsules in hanging catkins, appearing in spring.
Twig: Stout, reddish or greenish brown, lighter lenticels, large leaf scar, orange-brown pith; buds are 1/3 inch long, reddish brown, broad and pointed, slightly gummy. Twig has a bitter aspirin taste.
Bark: Gray-brown, strongly vertically ridged.
Form: Medium to large tree that can reach heights over 80 feet, straight trunk and clear bole.
Looks like: eastern cottonwood - water tupelo
Additional Range Information: Populus heterophylla is native to North America. Range may be expanded by planting. See states reporting swamp cottonwood.
More Information: Fall Color - Wood
External Links: USDAFS Silvics of North America - USDA Plants Database - USDAFS Forest Products Lab
All material © 2017 Virginia Tech Dept. of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation; Photos and text by: John Seiler, Edward Jensen, Alex Niemiera, and John Peterson