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Populus deltoides ssp. deltoides (Eastern cottonwood)
San Antonio River Authority

Populus deltoides ssp. deltoides

Populus deltoides W. Bartram ex Marshall ssp. deltoides

Eastern Cottonwood, Southern Cottonwood, Carolina Poplar, Eastern Poplar, Necklace Poplar, Alamo

Salicaceae (Willow Family)

Synonym(s): Populus angulata, Populus angulata var. missouriensis, Populus balsamifera var. missouriensis, Populus balsamifera var. pilosa, Populus balsamifera var. virginiana, Populus canadensis var. virginiana, Populus deltoides var. angulata, Populus deltoides var. missouriensis, Populus deltoides var. pilosa, Populus deltoides var. virginiana, Populus nigra var. virginiana, Populus palmeri, Populus virginiana, Populus virginiana var. pilosa


USDA Native Status: L48 (N), CAN (N)

Growth of this tree is so rapid that maximum height can be attained in 15 years.
First Nations People used the roots to make friction when preparing fires.

Eastern cottonwood is not suitable for city landscaping. Moisture-seeking roots often raise sidewalks and clog drainage pipes, and brittle branches litter the ground. (Kershaw)

Poor though its wood might be, it gave the prairie pioneers their fences and corncribs, their cabins and stables, even their coffins. For decades it was made into every kind of cart and box from packing for the heaviest pianos to the lining of cigar boxes. (Peattie)


From the Image Gallery

1 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Tree
Leaf Retention: Deciduous
Leaf Arrangement: Alternate
Leaf Complexity: Simple
Fruit Type: Capsule
Size Notes: Up to about 180 feet tall.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: Green , Brown
Bloom Time: Mar , Apr


USA: AL , AR , CT , DC , DE , FL , GA , IA , IL , IN , KY , LA , MA , MD , ME , MI , MN , MO , MS , NC , NH , NJ , NY , OH , OK , PA , RI , SC , TN , TX , VA , VT , WV
Canada: AB , ON , QC , SK
Native Habitat: Riparian,Lakeshores

Growing Conditions

Light Requirement: Sun , Part Shade , Shade
Soil Moisture: Moist
Soil Description: Sand


Attracts: Butterflies
Larval Host: Eastern Tiger Swallowtail, Mourning Cloak

Butterflies and Moths of North America (BAMONA)

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail
(Papilio glaucus)

Larval Host
Learn more at BAMONA
Mourning Cloak
(Nymphalis antiopa)

Larval Host
Learn more at BAMONA

Herbarium Specimen(s)

NPSOT 1005 Collected Nov 4, 1994 in Bexar County by Harry Cliffe

1 specimen(s) available in the Digital Herbarium


Bibref 1186 - Field Guide to Moths of Eastern North America (2005) Covell, C.V., Jr.
Bibref 298 - Field Guide to Texas Trees (1999) Simpson, B.J.
Bibref 1185 - Field Guide to Western Butterflies (Peterson Field Guides) (1999) Opler, P.A. and A.B. Wright
Bibref 1258 - Trees of Ontario (2007) Kershaw, Linda

Search More Titles in Bibliography

Web Reference

Webref 38 - Flora of North America (2019) Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO & Harvard University Herbaria, Cambridge, MA.
Webref 23 - Southwest Environmental Information Network (2009) SEINet - Arizona Chapter

Additional resources

USDA: Find Populus deltoides ssp. deltoides in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Populus deltoides ssp. deltoides in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Populus deltoides ssp. deltoides


Record Modified: 2023-01-12
Research By: TWC Staff

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