Black Poplar

Black_Poplar_jpgThis family (Salicaceae) is commonly called the Willow family. The poplars are fast-growing, short-lived, tall trees with bitter and astringent bark, light, weak wood, thick brittle pithy twigs and restless foliage.  Frequently the big, scaly, ore or less gummy buds give off a marked aroma. Prominent leaf scars generally roughen the thick twigs. This species (nigra) is named for its black bark.The Black Poplar is a commonly used in horticulture.  The leaves of Black Poplar yield wool dye, the wood was formerly used for the interior of railroad cars and for cigar boxes.  The bud resin is said to cause hair growth.  Members of this family provide valuable wild animal food.

OtherCommonName:

Willow Poplar, Lombardy Poplar

ScientificName:

Populus nigra

Community:

Thicket

PlantStatus:

Escaped from cultivation, Native of Eurasia

LifeSpan:

Woody Tree

PlantHeight:

40 to 50 feet

FruitingTime:

May to June

Distribution:

Scattered statewide, most abundant in the Delaware Valley in New Jersey

FloweringTime:

April to May

IdentifyingCharacteristics:

Tall tree with dull gray branches and dark, furrowed bark ~ Leaves hairy when young, finely toothed, lobed, alternate ~ Drooping catkins appear before the leaves, covered with hairs, distributed by wind ~ Flower small, subtended by small bract (commonly called a scale), flowers borne in catkins, dioecious (male and female flowers on separate plants)