=Habitat and Range.=--In all soils and situations except in deep swamps,
though more usual in dry uplands; sometimes springing up in great
abundance in clearings or upon burnt lands.
Newfoundland, Labrador, and Nova Scotia to the Hudson bay region
New England,--common, reaching in the White mountain region an altitude
of 3000 feet.
o New Jersey, along the mountains in Pennsylvania and
Kentucky, ascending 3000 feet in the Adirondacks; west to the
slopes of the Rocky mountains, along which it extends to Mexico and
=Habit.=--A graceful tree, ordinarily 35-40 feet and not uncommonly
50-60 feet high; trunk 8-15 inches in diameter, tapering, surmounted by
a very open, irregular head of small, spreading branches; spray sparse,
consisting of short, stout, leafy rounded shoots set at a wide angle;
distinguished by the slenderness of its habit, the light color of trunk
and branches, the deep red of the sterile catkins in early spring, and
the almost ceaseless flutter of the delicate foliage.
=Bark.=--Trunk pale green, smooth, dark-blotched below the branches,
becoming ash-gray and roughish in old trees; season's shoots dark
reddish-brown or green, shining; bitter.
=Winter Buds and Leaves.=--Buds 1/8-1/4 inch long, reddish-brown and
lustrous, usually smooth, ovate, acute, often slightly incurved at apex,
the upper often appressed. Leaves 1-2-1/2 inches long, breadth usually
equal to or exceeding the length, yellowish-green and ciliate when
young, dark dull green above when mature, lighter beneath, glabrous on
both sides, bright yellow in autumn; outline broadly ovate to orbicular,
finely serrate or wavy-edged, with incurved, glandular-tipped teeth,
apex rather abruptly acute or short-acuminate; base acute, truncate or
slightly heart-shaped, 3-nerved; leafstalk slender, strongly flattened
at right angles to the plane of the blade, bending to the slightest
breath of air; stipules lanceolate, silky, soon falling.
=Inflorescence.=--April to May. Sterile catkins 1-3 inches long, fertile
at first about the same length, gradually elongating; bracts cut into
several lanceolate or linear divisions, silky-hairy; stamens about 10;
anthers red: ovary short-stalked; stigmas two, 2-lobed, red.
=Fruit.=--June. Capsules, in elongated catkins, conical; seeds numerous,
=Horticultural Value.=--Hardy throughout New England in the most exposed
situations; grows almost anywhere, but prefers a moist, rich loam; grows
rapidly; foliage and spray thin; generally short-lived; often used as a
screen for slow-growing trees; type seldom found in nurseries, but one
or two horticultural forms are occasionally offered. Propagated from
seed or cuttings.
1. Branch with sterile catkins.
2. Sterile flower.
3. Branch with fertile catkins.
4. Fertile flower.
5. Fruiting branch.
6. Branch with mature leaves.
7. Variant leaves.
=Populus grandidentata, Michx.=