Kentucky State Tree – Tulip Tree – 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.
Conservation; Photos and text by: John Seiler, Edward Jensen,
Alex Niemiera, and John Peterson;Silvics reprinted from Ag
Handbook 654; range map source information