Tulip-tree

Silhouette - tulip-tree
  • Latin name: Liriodendron tulipifera (Nutt.) Nees
  • French name: Tulipier de Virginie
  • Synonym(s): Yellow-poplar
  • Taxonomic Serial Number: 18086
  • NA4 , C5
Description

Leaves

  • Typical leaf form - tulip-tree
  • 6-lobed leaf form - tulip-tree

Form

  • Deciduous, alternate, simple
  • Broad shallow notch at the tip
  • 4 (sometimes 6) lobes
  • Basal lobes broader on juvenile leaves
  • Stipules prominent in spring

Length

  • 7–12 cm

Width

  • As wide as long or wider

Colour

  • Light green

Autumn colour

  • Yellow

Margin

  • Smooth

Petiole

  • Slender
  • Usually longer than leaf blade

Buds

Form

  • Terminal bud flat
  • 2 outer scales meet at their edges
  • Lateral buds much smaller than terminal, with a powdery coating
  • Leaf scars roundish, elevated, with several vein scars

Length

  • Terminal bud 12–14 mm

Twigs

  • Winter twig with section showing banded pith - tulip-tree

Form

  • Stout, shiny
  • Encircled at each leaf scar by a line of stipule scars
  • Pith solid, banded at intervals

Colour

  • Brownish

Flowers

Form

  • Large, showy, solitary
  • At the tips of shoots
  • 6 petals
  • Insect-pollinated

Length

  • 4–6 cm

Width

  • About 5 cm

Colour

  • Greenish-yellow

Structure

  • Synoecious

Floral timing

  • After the leaves

Fruits

  • Persistent central fruit stalk - tulip-tree
  • Cone-like fruit aggregate - tulip-tree
  • Fruit - tulip-tree

Form

  • Samara
  • Spindle-shaped
  • Falling away from the central stalk when ripe

Length

  • 3–5 cm

Structure

  • In cone-like aggregates 5–7 cm
  • Central stalk erect, remains on the shoot tip

Seedlings

Form

  • Cotyledons leaf-like
  • Raised above the surface

Colour

  • Green

Bark

Form

  • Smooth when young
  • Developing firm intersecting rounded ridges

Colour

  • Dark green when young, becoming brownish
  • Greyish fissures

Wood

Texture

  • Light, soft, weak

Colour

  • Yellowish- to greenish-brown
  • Often with darker streaks

Morphology

  • Diffuse-porous
  • Pores too small to be visible
  • Fine-grained

Figure

  • Annual rings and rays visible

Uses

  • Easily worked

Size

Height

  • To 35 m

Diameter

  • To 100 cm

Maximum age

  • 150 years

Tree form

  • Silhouette - tulip-tree

Forest-grown

Trunk

  • Tall, massive, straight
  • Little taper
  • Branch-free for two-thirds or more of height

Crown

  • Small, narrow, compact

Open-grown

Crown

  • Long, irregular

Root system

  • Deep, wide-spreading

Habitat

Site

  • Deep, rich, moist soils
  • Along streams or around swampy areas

Light tolerance

  • Intolerant of shade

Associated species

  • Usually mixed with other broadleaf trees or eastern hemlock
  • Rarely in pure stands

Range

Southern Ontario, on the south shore of Lake Huron, north shore of Lake Erie, and Niagara Peninsula
Planted beyond its range as an ornamental

Photos
  • Tulip-tree
  • Tulip-tree
  • Tulip-tree
  • Tulip-tree
  • Tulip-tree
  • Tulip-tree
  • Tulip-tree
  • Tulip-tree
  • Tulip-tree
Distribution map
Distribution map - tulip-tree
Date modified: