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Wasowski, Sally and Andy
Populus angustifolia James
Narrow-leaf cottonwood, Narrowleaf cottonwood
USDA Symbol: poan3
USDA Native Status: Native to U.S.
Narrow-leaf cottonwood is a small, deciduous tree, growing 45-60 ft., with a rather narrow crown and slender twigs. Bark is less deeply furrowed than the broad-leaved cottonwoods. Toothed, yellow-green leaves are narrow and willow-like. Tree with narrow, conical crown of slender, upright branches and with resinous, balsam-scented buds.
Discovered in 1805 by Lewis and Clark on their expedition to the Northwest, this is the common cottonwood of the northern Rocky Mountains. It is easily distinguishable from related species by the narrow, short-stalked, willowlike leaves. Its root system makes it suitable for erosion control.
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial Habit: Tree Leaf:
Green Fruit: Size Class:
Bloom InformationBloom Color: White
Bloom Time: Mar , Apr , May
AZ , CA , CO , ID , MT , NE , NM , NV , OR , SD , TX , UT , WY Canada: AB
, SK Native Distribution:
Alt. to s.e. OR, s. to Trans-Pecos, TX, AZ & n. Mex. Native Habitat:
Stream banks; foothills; high plains USDA Native Status: L48(N), CAN(N)
Growing ConditionsWater Use: High
Light Requirement: Sun
Soil Moisture: Wet
CaCO3 Tolerance: High
Soil Description: Moist to mesic soils.
Conditions Comments: Female trees produce clouds of cottony seeds each spring that can be a temporary nuisance. To avoid the problem, plant only male trees.
BenefitConspicuous Flowers: yes
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Record Modified: 2008-04-01
Research By: TWC Staff