Contact your local county Extension office through our County Office List.

Close Icon
Master Gardeners enhance Colorado communities through outreach, education and environmental stewardship.

Narrowleaf Cottonwood   arrow

Populus angustifolia (pop’-u-lus an-gus-ti-fol’-e-a)
Family: Salicaceae, Willow

Key Steps


Narrowleaf Cottonwood leafLeaf: Narrow (3/4 to 1 1/2 inches wide) by 2-6 inches long. Broadest near the middle, round base, very pointed tip, finely toothed. Sticky underneath Short petiole. Stout yellow midrib (central vein).

Bud: Brown, sticky, 3-5 thin scales. 1/2 inch long. Slender, pointed. Lateral buds may be curved outward.

Leaf Scar: Oval, Three bundle scars.

Stem: Slender, round, smooth, yellow-green when young. Pale lenticels.

Bark: Gray furrowed.

Pith: Greenish to light brown, 5-pointed, solid.

Flower: Male and female on separate trees.

Fruit: Egg-shaped capsule on drooping catkins which release hairy brown seeds.

Habit: Tall, oval. Colorado native usually found along streambanks and wet areas. To 40 feet tall. Suckers.

Culture: High moisture requirement.