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Genus Populus Family Salicaceae
Common Name: Poplars

Description: Trees with capacity to freely sucker from their roots, twigs generally more than 2 mm diam., winter buds with several overlapping, usually sticky scales, the outer ones shortest.

Leaves mostly deciduous; lamina broad-elliptic to ovate, triangular or rhombic, sometimes cordate at base, margins ± entire to toothed, sometimes lobed; petiole usually at least half as long as lamina.

Each flower encircled at the base by a bract coarsely toothed or cut into narrow lobes and an oblique cup-shaped gland. Male flowers with 4–many stamens; anthers red or purple. Female flowers with a 2-carpellate ovary, stigmas 2, entire or 2-lobed.

Capsule packed with cotton-like hairs; seeds numerous.


Distribution and occurrence: World: c. 30 species, Northern Hemisphere, 1 species tropical Africa. Australia: 4 species (naturalised), 3 hybrids (naturalised), Qld, N.S.W., Vic., Tas., S.A., W.A.

Text by G.J. Harden & A.N. Rodd (revised May 2017)
Taxon concept:

 Key to the species 
1Leaves mostly densely white-woolly below and either palmately 3–5-lobed on vigorous shoots or coarsely and shallowly toothed on weak shoots, rarely glabrescent and then ovate to ellipticPopulus alba
Leaves glabrous, never lobed, closely toothed and broad-rhombic to triangularPopulus nigra

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