E-Flora BC: Electronic Atlas of the Flora of British Columbia

Populus balsamifera subsp. trichocarpa L. (Torr. & A. Gray ex Hook.) Brayshaw
black cottonwood
Salicaceae (Willow family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Bryan Kelly-McArthur  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #81376)

E-Flora BC Static Map
Distribution of Populus balsamifera ssp. trichocarpa
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Species Information

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General:
Dioecious tree up to 50 m tall; not colonial; branches brown the first year, turning grey later; twigs smooth or sparsely hairy.
Leaves:
Alternate, deciduous, simple, narrowly to broadly egg-shaped or lanceolate, 5-20 cm long, 3-12 cm wide, the bases tapered to heart-shaped or squared-off smooth, finely toothed and hairy on the margins, the teeth often tipped with a callous gland, lower side whitish or pale green and brownish; leaf stalks 2-10 cm long, often with a pair of glands near the blade; buds finely hairy with fringed scales.
Flowers:
Borne in catkins; male catkins 2-3 (5) cm long, soon deciduous, with 8-60 stamens; female catkins 8-20 cm long.
Fruits:
Capsules, broadly egg-shaped, carpels 2-3, smooth or hairy, nearly unstalked.
Notes:
Two subspecies occur in BC. The hybrids P. angustifolia James x P. balsamifera ssp. trichocarpa (P. x brayshawii Boivin) and P. balsamifera ssp. trichocarpa x P. nigra L. var. italica DuRoi are rare in BC .

1. Ovaries and capsules smooth; leaves pale green and brownish beneath.................... ssp. balsamifera

1. Ovaries and young capsules hairy; leaves whitish beneath.................... ssp. trichocarpa (T. & G.) Brayshaw

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

USDA Species Characteristics

Flower Colour:
Yellow
Blooming Period:
Mid Spring
Fruit/Seed characteristics:
Colour: White
Present over the Spring
Source:  The USDA

Habitat / Range

Moist uplands and floodplains in the montane zone; ssp. balsamifera - common in N and E BC; ssp. trichocarpa - common throughout BC except rare on Queen Charlotte Islands; ssp. balsamifera - N to YT, AK and NT, E to NF and S to NY, VA, IL, IA, CO, ID and OR; ssp. trichocarpa - N to S AK and YT, E to SW AB and S to ND, WY, UT, NV and CA.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Climate

The climate type for this species, as reported in the: "British Columbia plant species codes and selected attributes. Version 6 Database" (Meidinger et al. 2008), is not evaluated, unknown or variable.

Synonyms and Alternate Names

Populus balsamifera var. californica S. Wats.
Populus hastata Dode p.p.
Populus trichocarpa Torr. & A. Gray ex Hook.
Populus trichocarpa subsp. hastata (Dode) Dode p.p.
Populus trichocarpa var. cupulata S. Watson
Populus trichocarpa var. hastata (Dode) A. Henry p.p.
Populus trichocarpa var. ingrata (Jeps.) Jeps.

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

Related Databases

General References