Tennessee State Tree

Yellow-poplar Magnoliaceae Liriodendron tulipifera
Leaf: Alternate, simple, palmately veined, orbicular, 4-lobed with an entire margin, 4 to 8 inches long. Somewhat shaped like a tulip.

Flower: Showy, but high in the tree, 2 1/2 inches long, with yellow-green petals and an orange corolla. Present April to June.

Fruit: An oblong aggregate of samaras, deciduous at maturity. Each samara is 1-winged, 1 1/2 inches long, and 4-angled. Maturing August to October.

Twig: Red-brown in color, often with a shiny appearance or a waxy bloom. Stipules are large and encircle the twig. Buds are elongated and valvate, resembling a "duck bill". Twigs have a sweet, spicy odor when broken.

Bark: Light gray-green in color, often with white in grooves or in patches. Smooth when young, developing flat-topped ridges and furrows in diamond shaped patterns. On older trees sapsucker holes are common.

Form: In a stand, this tree is very straight with a limb-free bowl. Open-grown trees have a pyramidal crown when young, becoming oval in shape.


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

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