Description

Black poplar trees are robust dioecious tree to 35m tall (usually less) with a wide (c.20m diameter) rounded crown.

  • Branches 
    • stout 
    • arching often down-curving 
    • upswept at the tips 
  • Trunk
    •  conspicuously bossed 
    • often inclined
    • deeply furrowed dark-grey bark 
    • diameter at breast height up to 250cm
  • Twigs 
    • glabrous to finely pubescent
    • terete, yellowish-brown at first, becoming grey-brown
    • sticky with resin
    • buds c.10mm, narrowly ovoid, acuminate, shiny, dark brown 
  • Leaves 
    • 5 -10 x 4-8cm, rhombic-ovate to trullate
    • long acuminate
    • minutely crenate-serrate
    • with obvious translucent margin
    • broadly cuneate to truncate at base
    • larger on sucker and coppice shoots
    • on short shoots smaller, broader and more deltate, 
    • dark green above, paler beneath, 
    • initially bronze-tinted and 
    • with a distinct aroma 
    • becoming rather leathery in texture
    • without basal glands
    • petiole 3-7cm 
    • pubescent when young, glabrous later
    • laterally compressed 
    • often conspicuously galled

Flowers 

  • appearing before the leaves in March-April; 
  • catkins 3-5 x 0.6-0.7 cm
  • female 
    • grows to 15cm in fruit
    • pendent
    • each flower with a cup-like disc
    • subtended by oblong
    • deeply laciniate scales, 
    • membranous, 
    • greenish or brownish
    • soon deciduous
  • male 
    • 12-15(-20)cm stamens
    •  purplish crimson anthers
  • female
    • 2 deeply bifid greenish stigmas
    • ovary sub-globose, glabrous
  • Capsule 
    • 2-4 valved
    • seed minute
    • white-fluffy
    • numerous but rarely forming in the British Isles 
    • usually then the result of pollination by other Populus taxa