Abele White Poplar Silver-leaf Poplar
=Range.=--Widely distributed in the Old World, extending in Europe from
southern Sweden to the Mediterranean, throughout northern Africa, and
eastward in Asia to the northwestern Himalayas. Introduced from England
by the early settlers and soon established in the colonial towns, as in
Plymouth and Duxbury, on the western shore of Massachusetts bay. Planted
or spontaneous over a wide area.
k and Nova Scotia,--occasional.
New England,--occasional throughout, local, sometimes common.
Southward to Virginia.
=Habit.=--A handsome tree, resembling P. grandidentata more than any
other American poplar, but of far nobler proportions; 40-75 feet high
and 2-4 feet in diameter at the ground; growing much larger in England;
head large, spreading; round-topped, in spring enveloped in a dazzling
cloud of cotton white, which resolves itself later into two
conspicuously contrasting surfaces of dark green and silvery white.
=Bark.=--Light gray, smooth upon young trees, in old trees furrowed upon
=Winter Buds and Leaves.=--Buds not viscid, cottony. Leaves 1-4 inches
long, densely white-tomentose while expanding, when mature dark green
above and white-tomentose to glabrous beneath; outline ovate or deltoid,
3-5-lobed and toothed or simply toothed, teeth irregular; base
heart-shaped or truncate; apex acute to obtuse; leafstalk long, slender,
compressed; stipules soon falling.
=Inflorescence and Fruit.=--April to May. Sterile catkins 2-4 inches
long, cylindrical, fertile at first shorter,--stamens 6-16; anthers
purple: capsules 1/4 inch long, narrow-ovoid; seeds hairy.
=Horticultural Value.=--Hardy. Thrives even in very poor soils and in
exposed situations; grows rapidly in good soils; of distinctive value in
landscape gardening but not adapted for planting along streets and upon
lawns of limited area on account of its habit of throwing out numerous
suckers and its liability to damage from heavy winds. The sides of
country roads where the abele has been planted are sometimes obstructed
for a considerable distance by the thrifty shoots from underground.
=Salix discolor. Muhl.=