Lombardy poplar Salicaceae Populus
nigra var. Italica L.
var Du Roi symbol: PONI
Leaf: Alternate, simple, broadly deltoid (triangular), 2 to 4 inches long, finely serrate-crenate, straight across the base, petiole flattened, shiny dark green above, paler beneath.
Flower: Species is dioecious; however, in the variety 'Italica' only male trees are seen; male flowers are slender, reddish to yellow-green, hanging catkins, 2 to 3 inches long, appear in early spring before the leaves.
Fruit: Hanging cluster of light brown capsules containing numerous small fluffy seeds. Variety 'Italica' is not known to produce fruit.
Twig: Moderate to stout, light brown to yellow-brown, swollen at leaf scars; large, sticky, reddish brown conical buds.
Bark: Initially smooth and gray-green, becoming darker (gray to nearly black) and irregularly furrowed.
Form: Very slender upright crown (column-like), may reach up to 60 feet in height with only a spread of 10 to 15 feet, upward bending branches start close to the ground.
Looks like: eastern cottonwood - Fremont cottonwood
Additional Range Information: Populus nigra var. Italica is planted in the USDA hardiness zones shown above and may seed into the landscape. See states reporting Lombardy poplar.
External Links: USDA Plants Database - Horticulture Information
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