Colorado Plant Database

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NARROWLEAF COTTONWOOD - Populus angustifolia

Copyright:Dave Powell, USDA Forest Service,

Meaning: leaf shape.
Scientific Name: Populus angustifolia
Family: Willow - Salicaceae
Species Characteristics: petiole (leaf stalk) one third the length of the blade or shorter.
Mature Height: to 60 feet.
Mature Spread: to 40 feet.
Flower Cluster: catkin (a spike-like, hanging flower cluster with unisexual flowers)
Leaf Type: simple (not divided into similar parts).
Leaf/Leaflet Shape: acute (terminating in a sharp point).
Origin: native
Frequency: common
Growth Form: tree
Life Cycle: perennial
Class: angiosperm (plant with covered seed).
SubClass: dicot (plants with two seed leaves and netted leaf veins).
Life Zone: foothills/montane.
Habitat: floodplains and streamsides in the middle altitudes (7,000 to 9,000 feet).
Eco. Relationships: suckers heavily; a necessary food source and cover for many bird species; members of this family are primarily anemophilous (wind-pollinated); due to the large size and/or numbers of these plants which cover the landscape, insects would be inefficient as sole pollinators; wind pollen has a smooth, dry surface as opposed to insect pollen which is sticky and rough-surfaced; catkins are shaped so as to prevent pollen distribution in still air; plants are dioecious (male and female flowers on different plants); members of the willow family are host plants for Western Tiger Swallowtail, Red-spotted Purple and Weidemeyer's Admiral butterflies.

Origin: native

Landscaping Use: shade tree, background, males do not produce cotton, yellow fall color.
Moisture Requirement: high
Light Requirement: full sun to partial shade.
Soil Requirement: adaptable

Other Uses: all cottonwoods are considered phreatophytes meaning that they can survive only where the roots are able to access groundwater.

Version: 3.0.0      Release Date: August 2015       ©2015 Jefferson County ITS

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