Nebraska State Tree

Cottonwood Salicaceae Populus deltoides

Leaf: Alternate, simple, pinnately veined, 3 to 6 inches long, triangular (deltoid) in shape with a crenate/serrate margin. The petiole is flattened and glands are present at the top of the petiole.

Flower: Dioecious, male and female as pendulous catkins, appearing before the leaves.

Fruit: Cottony seeds, 1/4 inch long borne in a dehiscent capsule. Maturing over summer.

Twig: Stout, somewhat angled and yellowish. Buds are 3/4 inch long, covered with several brown, resinous scales. Has a bitter aspirin taste.

Bark: Smooth, gray to yellow-green when young. Later turning gray with thick ridges and deep furrows.

Form: A large tree with a clear bole and an open spreading crown resulting in a somewhat vase-shaped form.

Copyright 2003, Virginia Tech Forestry Department, all rights reserved.
Photos courtesy: Michael Aust, John Baitey, Ctaude L. Brown, Bruce Bongarten,
Susan D. Day, Edward C. Jensen, Richard E. Kreh, Larry H. McCormick, Alex X.
Niemiera, John A. Peterson, Oana Popescu, John R. Seiter, David W. Smith, Kim
C. Steiner, James E. Ward, Rodney E. Will, Shepard M. Zedaker.
Text written by: John R. Seiter, Edward C. Jensen, Or John A. Peterson