Populus deltoides
Common name: 
Eastern Cottonwood
pop-U-lus del-TOY-dez
Native to (or naturalized in) Oregon: 
  • Deciduous tree, 75-100+ ft, (23-30 cm), pyramidal to vase with age.  Bark is ash-gray and divided into thick ridges.  Terminal buds 0.6-2 cm long with 6-7 visible scales, lateral bud, somewhat smaller, more or less flatened, appressed.  Leaves alternate, simple, deltoid-ovate, or broad-ovate, 7-12 cm long and about as broad, tip acuminate, base subcordate to truncate, margin coarsely crenate-dentate with curved teeth, glabrous, bright green; petiole 6-10 cm long, flattened laterally, this allows the leaf to flutter in the slightest breeze.  Flowers dioecious - male and female trees- in pendulous catkins, 7-10 cm long, appearing before leaves.  Mature fruit (seed) catkins 15-25 cm long, containing many capsules, each 8-12 mm long, splitting into 3-4 parts when mature, releasing tufted seeds, the white "cotton" seen at dispersal time.
  • Sun, prefers moist situations, but tolerates dry soils, saline conditions, and is very pH adaptable.  Short-lived.
  • Hardy to USDA Zone 2     Native range from Quebec to North Dakota, Kansas, Texas, and Florida.
  • deltoides: deltoid, triangular, shaped liked the Greek capital letter delta (Δ)
  • Oregon State Univ. campus: a row at the eastern edge of lower campus, to the west of 9th St. and north of Madison Ave.
Click image to enlarge
  • flower clusters, spring

    flower clusters, spring

  • expanding leaves

    expanding leaves

  • plant habit

    plant habit

  • plant habit

    plant habit

  • leaf


  • leaves and fruit

    leaves and fruit

  • fruit at seed release

    fruit at seed release

  • leafy shoot

    leafy shoot

  • leaves, comparison

    leaves, comparison

  • leaf margins, comparison

    leaf margins, comparison

  • leaves


  • in a prairie habitat, fall

    in a prairie habitat, fall

  • plant habit, fall

    plant habit, fall

  • leaves, fall

    leaves, fall

  • trunk,bark


  • winter twigs and buds, comparison

    winter twigs and buds, comparison