File Size: 84 KB
Populus alba  L.
Ken O'Dell photo
Height: Trees, to 65 feet
Family: Salicaceae - Willow Family
Flowering Period:   March, April
Also Called: White poplar.
Trunks: Trunk ascending to erect; bark light gray, furrows deep, ridges wide, flat, with scattered rhombic grayish-brown depressions; wood yellowish brown or tan, soft.
Twigs: Olive-brown to orangish brown, rigid, initially densely white-tomentose, glabrate; leaf scars crescent-shaped; buds reddish brown, ovoid, .2 to .7 inch, apex acute, scales tomentose.
Leaves: Deciduous, alternate, simple, very dissimilar leaves on same plant; stipules caducous, deltate; petiole .8 to 1.6 inch, flattened, tomentose; blade ovate, (.4-)1.2 to 3.2 inches long, (.3-).4 to 2.8 inches wide, base rounded to nearly cordate, apex obtuse to acute, lower surface white, densely tomentose, upper surface dark green, sparsely pubescent, especially along veins, margins of early leaves unlobed, coarsely sinuate-dentate with 3-8 teeth on each side, margins of late leaves palmately 3-5-lobed, irregularly crenate-dentate.
Flowers: Inflorescences axillary from wood of previous year, catkins, pendent; staminate: 2 to 4 inches, many-flowered; peduncle essentially absent; pedicels .04 to .16 inch, glabrous, bracts .06 to .08 inch; pistillate: 1.6 to 2.8 inches, many-flowered; peduncle .2 to .5 inch, glabrous; pedicels .02 to .04 inch, bracts .08 to .12 inch. Flowers unisexual, radially symmetric; perianth a saucer-shaped disk, .03 to .04 inch diam.; staminate: stamens 6-12; pistillate: pistil 1, ovary green superior, 2-locular; styles 2; stigmas 2, 2-lobed, lobes linear, spreading to erect.
Fruit: April-June; capsules, green to greenish brown, ovoid, .12 to .24 inch long, .03 to .5 inch wide; seeds 2-6 (apparently not produced in Kansas), brown, compressed-oblong, .04 to .06 inch long, .01 to .o4 inch wide, base with dense tuft of capillary hairs, apex pointed.
Habitat: Hedgerows, woodlots, abandoned farms and home sites, pastures, roadsides, disturbed areas.
Distribution: Scattered throughout Kansas
Origin: Naturalized
Comments: Populus alba is native to Eurasia and widely cultivated in North America as a shade tree. In Kansas, it occurs primarily as large clonal colonies from root-suckers produced by planted individuals. Because most colonies are single clones and therefore either staminate or pistillate, fruits are rarely produced here.

Silver poplar bark
123 KB
Ken O'Dell photo
Silver poplar bark
134 KB
Johnson County, Kansas
Silver poplar bark
172 KB
Johnson County, Kansas
Silver poplar buds
110 KB
Ken O'Dell photo
Silver poplar leaf
140 KB
Ken O'Dell photo
Silver poplar leaves
117 KB
Johnson County, Kansas
Silver poplar habit
145 KB
Ken O'Dell photo
Silver poplar bud and leaf scar
64 KB
Johnson County, Kansas