Tulip Poplar

Liriodendron tulipifera

The Tulip poplar has many different common names including yellow poplar, tulip tree and tulip poplar. This tree is native to eastern North America and is one of the tallest trees in its native range, reaching up to 200’ tall. Tulipifera means “bearing tulips” a fitting name as this tree bears beautiful tulip like flowers in early June. In the fall the leaves turn yellow or gold. The fruit that follows the flower is a samara, like that of a maple tree. Although the common name suggests it, tulip poplar is not a poplar but in the genus Liriodendron. Leirion is Greek for a lily and dendron is a tree. Tulip poplar has also been called canoe tree because Native Americans used it to make dugouts. The tulip poplar flower has a colorful base that guides bees to the flower’s source of abundant nectar. The nectar, also popular with hummingbirds, is a source of gourmet honey.


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