eastern cottonwood

(Populus deltoides ssp. deltoides)

               
Conservation Status

IUCN Red List

not yet assessed

eastern cottonwood

NatureServe

N5 - Secure

SNR - Unranked

Minnesota

not listed

Wetland
Indicator
Status

Great Plains

FAC - Facultative

Midwest

FAC - Facultative

Northcentral & Northeast

FAC - Facultative

Nativity

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

Occurrence

Rare or absent in Minnesota

Habitat

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

Photo by Randy
Flowering

April

 
Flower Color

Male reddish, female greenish

 
Height

60 to 80

 

Identification

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.

 
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.


Distribution Distribution Map  

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

* This subspecies has not been collected in Minnesota.


Comments

Intergrades
Wherever the range of Populus deltoides ssp. deltoides approaches that of another subspecies, the trees intergrade readily. In the Great Lakes region, this area includes eastern Iowa, southwestern Wisconsin, and possibly Houston County in southeastern Minnesota.


Taxonomy

Family:

Salicaceae (willow)

 

Tribe:

Saliceae

 

Genus:

Populus (cottonwood)

 

Section:

Aigeiros (cottonwood)

 
Parent

eastern cottonwood (Populus deltoides)

 
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

   

 

 

 

 

 

Intergrade vs. Hybrid

The term “hybrid” is used to describe the offspring of parents of two different varieties, subspecies, species, or genera. In practice, the term “intergrade” is used only to describe the offspring of parents of different subspecies or varieties.

 

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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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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