Magnoliaceae Magnolia Family
=Liriodendron Tulipifera, L.=
TULIP TREE. WHITEWOOD. POPLAR.
=Habitat and Range.=--Prefers a rich, loamy, moist soil.
Vermont,--valley of the Hoosac river in the southwestern corner of the
state; Massachusetts,--frequent in the Connecticut river valley and
westward; reported as far east as Douglas, southeastern corner of
Worcester county (R. M. Harper, Rhodora, II, 122); Rhode
Connecticut,--frequent, especially in the central and southern portions
of the latter state.
South to the Gulf states; west to Wisconsin; occasional in the
eastern sections of Missouri and Arkansas; attains great size in
the basins of the Ohio and its tributaries, and southward along the
Mississippi river bottoms.
=Habit.=--A medium-sized tree, 50-70 feet high; trunk 2-3 feet in
diameter, straight, cylindrical; head rather open, more or less
cone-shaped, in the dense forest lifted high and spreading; branches
small for the size of the tree, set at varying angles, often decurrent,
becoming scraggly with age. The shapely trunk, erect, showy blossoms,
green, cone-like fruit, and conspicuous bright green truncate leaves
give the tulip tree an air of peculiar distinction.
=Bark.=--Bark of trunk ashen-gray and smoothish in young trees, becoming
at length dark, seamed, and furrowed; the older branches gray; the
season's shoots of a shining chestnut, with minute dots and conspicuous
leaf-scars; glabrous or dusty-pubescent; bark of roots pale brown,
fleshy, with an agreeable aromatic smell and pungent taste.
=Winter Buds and Leaves.=--Terminal buds 1/2-1 inch long; narrow-oblong;
flattish; covered by two chestnut-brown dotted scales, which persist as
appendages at the base of the leafstalk, often enclosing several leaves
which develop one after the other. Leaves simple, alternate, lobed; 3-5
inches long and nearly as broad, dark green and smooth on the upper
surface, lighter, with minute dusty pubescence beneath, becoming yellow
and russet brown in autumn; usually with four rounded or pointed lobes,
the two upper abruptly cut off at the apex, and separated by a slight
indentation or notch more or less broad and shallow at the top; all the
lobes entire, or 2-3 sublobed, or coarsely toothed; base truncate, acute
or heart-shaped; leafstalks as long or longer than the blade, slender,
enlarged at the base; stipules 1-2 inches long, pale yellow, oblong,
often persisting till the leaf is fully developed.
=Inflorescence.=--Late May or early June. Flowers conspicuous, solitary,
terminal, held erect by a stout stem, tulip-shaped, 1-1/2-2 inches long,
opening at the top about 2 inches. There are two triangular bracts which
fall as the flower opens; three greenish, concave sepals, at length
reflexed; six greenish-yellow petals with an orange spot near the base
of each; numerous stamens somewhat shorter than the petals; and pistils
clinging together about a central axis.
=Fruit.=--Cone-like, formed of numerous carpels, often abortive, which
fall away from the axis at maturity; each long, flat carpel encloses in
the cavity at its base one or two orange seeds which hang out for a time
on flexible, silk-like threads.
=Horticultural Value.=--An ornamental tree of great merit; hardy except
in the coldest parts of New England; difficult to transplant, but
growing rapidly when established; comes into leaf rather early and holds
its foliage till mid-fall, shedding it in a short time when mature;
adapts itself readily to good, light soils, but grows best in moist
loam. It has few disfiguring insect enemies. Mostly propagated by seed,
but sometimes successfully collected; for sale in the leading nurseries
and usually obtainable in large quantities. Of abnormal forms offered by
nurserymen, one has an upright habit approaching that of the Lombardy
poplar; another has variegated leaves, and another leaves without lobes.
1. Winter bud, terminal.
2. Opening leaf-bud with stipules.
3. Flowering branch.
5. Fruit with many carpels removed.
6. Carpel with seeds.
LAURACEAE. LAUREL FAMILY.
=Sassafras officinale, Nees.=
Sassafras Sassafras, Karst.