Black Poplar is
a deciduous tree
with a rounded outline up to 30 m tall with a strongly ridged bark
broken up by large numbers of rough, swollen areas, 'bosses', which
are absent in the similar Italian
Poplar. It is a rare native tree of the flood plains of rivers
The lowest branches
arch downwards but finally the tips point upwards. In the similar
Italian Poplar all branches
are spreading and in the Lombardy Poplar (which is a variety of black
poplar) they are all upright (see illustration opposite).
Male and female
catkins which are 3-7 cm long, appear
on separate trees (dioecious)
in March before the leaves. However, female trees are very rare.
The red male catkins
soon fall whilst the greenish females develop into masses of white
fluff at the end of June which scatter the seeds in the wind.