eastern cottonwood

(Populus deltoides ssp. deltoides)

Conservation Status
eastern cottonwood
Photo by Randy
  IUCN Red List

not listed

     
  NatureServe

N5 - Secure

SNR - Unranked

     
  Minnesota

not listed

     
           
Wetland Indicator Status
     
  Great Plains

FAC - Facultative

     
  Midwest

FAC - Facultative

     
  Northcentral & Northeast

FAC - Facultative

     
           
 
Description
 
 

Twigs are mostly reddish-brown, becoming tan or gray as they age. Winter buds are hairless.

Early season leaves are relatively short-tapered (acuminate) at the tip. When they first emerge the underside is covered with long, soft, straight hairs. There are usually 3 to 6 finger-like, club-shaped glands at the base of the blade where it meets the leaf stalk (petiole). There are usually 12 to 20, sometimes up to 30, teeth per side of the early season leaf. Later season (neoformed) leaves are usually distinctly longer than wide.

Flower stalks are variable in length, both long and short.

 
     
 

Height

 
 

60 to 80

 
     
 

Record

 
 

There are no state champions of non-native trees.

 
     
 

Flower Color

 
 

Male reddish, female greenish

 
     
 

Similar Species

 
  Plains cottonwood (Populus deltoides ssp. molinifera) twigs are mostly yellowish-brown, becoming tan as they age. Winter buds are covered with short, stiff hairs. Early season leaves are long acuminate at the tip. When they first emerge their underside is hairless. There are usually only 1 or 2 glands at the base of the leaf. There are just 7 to 15, sometimes up to 21, teeth per side of the early season leaf. Neoformed leaves are about as long as wide. Flower stalks are uniformly short.  
     
 
Habitat
 
 

Moist. Bottomland deciduous woodlands. Full sun. Sandy or silty loam.

 
     
 
Biology
 
 

Flowering

 
 

April

 
     
 

Pests and Diseases

 
 

 

 
     
 
Use
 
 

 

 
     
 
Distribution
 
 

Distribution Map

 

Sources

3, 4*, 8, 24, 29, 30.

The map at left shows one occurrance in White Oaks Park in Rochester, one in Prospect Park in Minneapolis, and one in Albert Lea, probably also in a park.

* This subspecies has not been collected in Minnesota.

 
  4/11/2021      
         
 

Nativity

 
 

Native south and east of Minnesota, including Ontario, Illinois, and Iowa

 
         
 

Occurrence

 
 

Rare or absent in Minnesota

There are no records of eastern cottonwood (ssp. deltoides) occurring outside of cultivation.

 
         
 
Taxonomy
 
  Kingdom Plantae (green algae and land plants)  
  Subkingdom Viridiplantae (green plants)  
  Infrakingdom Streptophyta (land plants and green algae)  
  Superdivision Embryophyta (land plants)  
  Division Tracheophyta (vascular plants)  
  Subdivision Spermatophytina (seed plants)  
  Class Magnoliopsida (dicots)  
  Subclass Rosidae  
  Superorder Rosanae  
 

Order

Malpighiales (nances, willows, and allies)  
 

Family

Salicaceae (willow)  
  Subfamily Salicoideae  
  Tribe Saliceae  
  Genus Populus (cottonwood)  
  Section Aigeiros (cottonwood)  
  Species Populus deltoides (eastern cottonwood)  
       
 

Synonyms

 
 

Populus angulata

Populus angulata var. missouriensis

Populus balsamifera var. missouriensis

Populus balsamifera var. pilosa

Populus balsamifera var. virginiana

Populus canadensis var. virginiana

Populus deltoides var. angulata

Populus deltoides var. virginiana

Populus deltoides var. pilosa

Populus deltoides var. missouriensis

Populus nigra var. virginiana

Populus palmeri

Populus virginiana

Populus virginiana var. pilosa

 
       
 

Common Names

 
 

eastern cottonwood

eastern poplar

necklace poplar

southern cottonwood

 
       

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Glossary

Acuminate

Gradually tapering with concave sides to a sharply pointed tip.

 

Petiole

The stalk of a leaf blade or compound leaf that attaches the leaf blade to the stem.

 

 

       
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Randy
       

trees in Albert Lea

  eastern cottonwood   eastern cottonwood
       

Eastern cottonwood leaf, Freeborn Co., MN, May 2017

  eastern cottonwood    
       

Wind blown seed

  eastern cottonwood    
       

Seed

  eastern cottonwood    
       

Bark on a giant Eastern Cottonwood near MN/IA border

  eastern cottonwood    
       
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slideshow

       
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Visitor Sightings
   

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Randy
5/28/2017

Location: Albert Lea

eastern cottonwood


Randy
5/26/2017

Location: Freeborn Co., MN

eastern cottonwood leaf

eastern cottonwood


Randy
5/23/2017

Location: near MN/IA border

Bark on a giant Eastern Cottonwood near MN/IA border

eastern cottonwood


     
     
 
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Created: 5/24/2017

Last Updated:

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