Vascular Plants - Salicaceae - Populus:
Populus trichocarpa
Page Author: David Giblin
black cottonwood, balsam poplar 
Blooms: April-June
Habit: tree
Duration: perennial
Origin: Native
Conservation Status: Abundant; of no concern.

Distribution: Occurring throughout Washington; Alaska to California, east to Alberta and Wyoming.
Habitat: Streambanks and moist woods, sea level to mid-elevations in the mountains.
Species Description:

General: Rough-barked, dioecious tree up to 50 m. tall; buds large, the scales very resinous, glabrous.
Leaves: Leaves alternate, the blades fragrant, strongly resinous, the lower side distinctly paler than the upper, variable in shape, 5-15 cm. long and 3-9 cm. wide, broadest below the middle, pointed at the tip and usually rounded or truncate at the base, the surfaces usually glabrous; petioles terete, about half as long as the blade.
Flowers: Catkins drooping; the bracts subtending the flowers in the catkins lacerate-fringed; staminate catkins elongating to 2-3 cm, then deciduous; pistillate catkins at maturity 8-20 cm. long; stigmas 2, broadly dilated.
Fruits: Capsules rotund-ovate, 5-8 mm. long, sub-sessile.
Accepted Name:
Populus trichocarpa Torr. & Gray ex Hook.
Synonyms:
Populus balsamifera L.
Populus balsamifera L. ssp. trichocarpa (Torr. & Gray ex Hook.) Brayshaw
Populus balsamifera L. var. californica S. Wats.
Populus hastata Dode p.p.
Populus trichocarpa Torr. & Gray ex Hook. ssp. hastata (Dode) Dode p.p.
Populus trichocarpa Torr. & Gray ex Hook. var. cupulata S. Wats.
Populus trichocarpa Torr. & Gray ex Hook. var. hastata (Dode) A. Henry p.p.
Populus trichocarpa Torr. & Gray ex Hook. var. ingrata (Jepson) Jepson

Treated in Flora of the PNW as:
Populus trichocarpa
Additional Resources:

PNW Herbaria Specimens: View list of all Populus trichocarpa specimens in the Consortium of Pacific Northwest Herbaria database.

WTU Herbarium Specimens: View list of Populus trichocarpa specimens in the WTU Herbarium database.

Washington Flora Checklist: Populus trichocarpa treatment.

E-Flora BC: Populus trichocarpa atlas page.

CalPhotos: Populus trichocarpa images.

USDA Plants Database: Populus trichocarpa.
Additional photographs of Populus trichocarpa:
(click on a thumbnail to view larger photo)

Clayton J. Antieau, 1994

Clayton J. Antieau, 2004

Clayton J. Antieau, 2004

Clayton J. Antieau, 2004

Ben Legler, 2005

Ben Legler, 2005

Ben Legler, 2005

Ben Legler, 2005

Ben Legler, 2005

Ben Legler, 2005

Ben Legler, 2005

Bud Kovalchik

Bud Kovalchik

Bud Kovalchik

Bud Kovalchik

Bud Kovalchik

Bud Kovalchik

Bud Kovalchik

Bud Kovalchik

Bud Kovalchik

Ben Legler, 2006

Ben Legler, 2006

Ben Legler, 2006

Ben Legler, 2006

Ben Legler, 2006

Ben Legler, 2006

Ben Legler, 2006

Fred Weinmann, 2006

Fred Weinmann, 2006

Don Knoke, 2008

Clayton J. Antieau, 2008

G. D. Carr, 2009

G. D. Carr, 2009

Craig Althen, 2010

G. D. Carr, 2010

G. D. Carr, 2010

G. D. Carr, 2010

G. D. Carr, 2010

G. D. Carr, 2010

G. D. Carr, 2010

G. D. Carr, 2010

G. D. Carr, 2010

G. D. Carr, 2010

Sandie Durand, 2011

Regina Johnson, 2011

Regina Johnson, 2011

Susan McDougall, 2004

Susan McDougall, 2010

Susan McDougall, 2013

Susan McDougall, 2013

Susan McDougall, 2013

Daniel McNair , 2015

Susan McDougall, 2012

G. D. Carr , 2014
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