balsam poplar Salicaceae Populus balsamifera ssp. balsamifera L. Listen to the Latin symbol: POBAB2 Other Fact Sheets
Leaf: Alternate, simple, ovate, finely serrated, 3 to 6 inches long, shiny dark green, paler and often blotchy orange below, petiole long with glands at the leaf base.
Flower: Species is dioecious; male and female as hanging, long (several inches), pale yellow-green catkins; appearing in early spring.
Fruit: Small, 2-valved, dry capsule containing numerous small seeds.
Twig: Moderately stout, round, shiny reddish brown, orange lenticels, buds are reddish brown to brown, long (1 inch), curved, resinous and fragrant. Twig has a bitter aspirin taste.
Bark: Greenish gray with lighter lenticels when young, later becoming darker and furrowed with long, scaly ridges.
Form: Medium sized tree reaching up to 80 feet tall, narrow, pyramidal crown.

Looks like: black cottonwood - eastern cottonwood - narrowleaf cottonwood - bigtooth aspen
leaf twig bark form1 map
Additional Range Information:
Populus balsamifera ssp. balsamifera is native to North America.
Range may be expanded by planting.
See states reporting balsam poplar.
More: Wood
External Links:
USDAFS Silvics of North America
USDAFS Additional Silvics
Landowner Factsheet
USDA Plants Database
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Photos and text by: John Seiler,
Edward Jensen, Alex Niemiera,
and John Peterson
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