Grey Poplar
(Populus canescens)
Simple
Roundish
Alternate
Toothed
White wooly on underside
Simple
Roundish
Alternate
Toothed
Flattened leaf stalk
Simple
Lobed
Alternate
White and hairy below

leaves

Winter twig
Winter twig

bark

distribution map

The roundish leaves, 3.5-8 cm long, have flattened leaf stalks and margins which are coarsely and irregularly toothed. Those in clusters on short shoots 3.5-6 cm long are more or less hairless. Those alternate on long shoots, 6-8 cm long, are dark green above, but grey woolly beneath, especially when young.

ID check

Grey Poplar is a  large deciduous tree is up to 30 m tall, roundish in outline, with white bark in the top half of the trunk. It is an introduction, which flourishes in water meadows and river valleys.

Male catkins, 4-9 cm long, and female catkins, 4-6 cm long, appear on separate trees in March, well before the leaves (dioecious).

Male catkins are brown with reddish stamens, whilst the females are pinkish.

Trees often produce a large number of suckers.

Facts

  • The name 'grey' reflects the colour of the underside of some leaves, which are not 'white', as in the White Poplar.

  • Grey Poplar is a hybrid of which one parent is White Poplar and the other Aspen.

  • It probably originated elsewhere in Europe and was introduced from Holland in about 1640

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