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Cottonwood - Populus spp.
Family: Salicaceae

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TPIUC

Description

Poplars are trees with light bark that is smooth at first but becomes deeply furrowed with age. The lenticels are often pronounced. The leaves are alternate sometimes with one to five basilaminar glands. The leaf blades may be smooth to tomentose and are usually three-nerved from the base. The shape is variable, from lanceolate to orbicular to palmately five lobed. The leaf margin may be serrate or nearly entire. The petioles usually are one-third or more the length of the blade. The inflorescence is a pendulous catkin that appears before the leaves. The fruits are ovoid, two-to-four valved.

Interesting facts

Poplars are found in moist soils from sea level to approximately 14,000 ft. Some produce basal shoots and are clump forming.

Poplars may form extensive root systems that reduce water flow in drainageways. In many years they are prolific seed producers. The seeds bear long white ‘cottony’ hairs which give them buoyancy for air dispersal but also cause them to impinge on and clog filters.


VIDEO


Links to more information

US Army Corp Noxious Plant Database


Website, video, and graphics by Rob Nelson
For more information on this plant or management please contact US Army Corp of Engineers

 

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