Populus alba (pop’-u-lus al’-ba)
Family: Salicaceae, Willow
- 1b – Alternate leaf arrangement — go to 18
Leaf: Slightly lobed. Deep dark green above and woolly beneath. Petiole is long and hairy. Random venation off of the central vein.
Bud: Scales round, brown with white ‘wool’ (woollyness may rub off), and fringed with long hairs.
Leaf Scar: Somewhat raised, crescent-shaped, 3 lobes. Three bundle scars.
Stem: New growth white, woolly.
Bark: White, smooth, older is black.
Pith: 5-pointed, star-shaped. White, solid.
Flower: Male and female catkins on separate trees before leaves.
Fruit: Female catkin cotton producing. Seeds are attached to ‘threads’ of cotton.
Habit: Large, open, has several main branches. White ‘cast’ to everything. Weak wooded. May sucker. To 40+ feet tall.
Culture: Full sun. Moist conditions are preferred.
Note: P. alba ‘Pyramidalis’ (Bolleana Poplar) is columnar.