balsam poplar Salicaceae Populus
balsamifera ssp. balsamifera L.
|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
| Additional Range Information:
Populus balsamifera ssp. balsamifera is native to North America.
Range may be expanded by planting.
See states reporting balsam poplar.
| External Links:
Silvics of North America
USDA Plants Database
|© Copyright 2016, Virginia Tech|
Dept. of Forest Resources
and Environmental Conservation,
all rights reserved.
Photos and text by: John Seiler,
Edward Jensen, Alex Niemiera,
and John Peterson