eastern cottonwood Salicaceae Populus
|Leaf: Alternate, simple, pinnately veined, 3 to 6 inches long, triangular (deltoid) in shape with a crenate/serrate margin. The petiole is flattened and glands are present at the top of the petiole.
Flower: Species is dioecious; male and female as pendulous catkins, appearing before the leaves.
Fruit: Cottony seeds, 1/4 inch long borne in a dehiscent capsule, maturing over summer.
Twig: Stout, somewhat angled and yellowish; buds are 3/4 inch long, covered with several brown, resinous scales. Has a bitter aspirin taste.
Bark: Smooth, gray to yellow-green when young. Later turning gray with thick ridges and deep furrows.
Form: A large tree with a clear bole and an open spreading crown resulting in a somewhat vase-shaped form.
Looks like: bigtooth aspen
- swamp cottonwood
- black cottonwood
- Fremont cottonwood
| Additional Range Information:
Populus deltoides is native to North America.
Range may be expanded by planting.
See states reporting eastern cottonwood.
Fall Color Wood
| External Links:
Silvics of North America
USDA Plants Database
|© Copyright 2015, 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