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This article is about woody plants of the genus Populus.

Poplar, Aspen, Cottonwood
Missing image

Western Balsam Poplar foliage
Scientific classification

Sect. Populus
Sect. Aegiros
Sect. Tacamahaca
Sect. Leucoides
Sect. Turanga

Populus is a genus of trees which includes the cottonwoods, poplars, and aspens, all of which are sometimes termed poplars (in some areas "popple").

Poplars are deciduous, and turn bright gold to yellow before their leaves fall. The leaves of many poplars, including the cottonwoods and aspens (but not the balsam poplars), have laterally-flattened stems, so that breezes easily cause the leaves to wobble back and forth, giving the whole tree a "twinkling" appearance in a breeze.

Like willows, many poplars have very strong and invasive root systems, so they must not be planted too close to houses or waterpipes as they will crack walls and pipes in their search for moisture.

Poplars of the cottonwood section are often wetlands or riparian trees. The aspens are among the most important boreal broadleaf trees.

Fast-growing hybrid poplars are grown on plantations in many areas for pulpwood and used for the manufacture of paper.

Poplars and aspens are important food plants for the larvae of some species of Lepidoptera including Figure of Eighty, Clouded Border, Poplar Hawk-moth, Poplar Kitten and Coxcomb Prominent.


  • Populus section Populus - aspens and white poplar. Circumpolar subarctic and cool temperate, and mountains further south (white poplar warm temperate)
    • Populus tremula - Common Aspen or Eurasian Aspen. Europe, northern Asia.
    • Populus tremuloides - Quaking Aspen. North America.
    • Populus grandidentata - Bigtooth Aspen. Eastern North America.
    • Populus adenopoda - Chinese Aspen. Eastern Asia.
    • Populus sieboldii - Japanese Aspen. Eastern Asia.
    • Populus alba - White Poplar. Southern Europe to central Asia.
      • Populus x canescens (P. alba x P. tremula) - Grey Poplar
A poplar in autumn colours
A poplar in autumn colours
  • Populus section Aegiros - black poplars or cottonwoods. North America, Europe, western Asia; temperate
    • Populus nigra - Black Poplar. Europe.
    • Populus deltoides - Eastern Cottonwood. Eastern North America.
    • Populus fremontii - Fremont Cottonwood. Western North America.
  • Populus section Tacamahaca - balsam poplars. North America, Asia; cool temperate
    • Populus angustifolia - Willow-leaved Poplar or Narrowleaf Cottonwood. Central North America.
    • Populus balsamifera - Ontario Balsam Poplar. Northern North America.
    • Populus trichocarpa - Western Balsam Poplar or Black Cottonwood. Western North America.
    • Populus laurifolia - Laurel-leaf Poplar. Central Asia.
    • Populus simonii - Simon's Poplar. Northeast Asia.
    • Populus maximowiczii - Maximowicz' Poplar. Northeast Asia.
  • Populus section Leucoides - necklace poplars or bigleaf poplars. Eastern North America, eastern Asia; warm temperate
    • Populus heterophylla - Swamp Cottonwood. Southeastern North America.
    • Populus lasiocarpa - Chinese Necklace Poplar. Eastern Asia.
    • Populus wilsonii - Wilson's Poplar. Eastern Asia.
  • Populus section Turanga - subtropical poplars. Southwest Asia, east Africa; subtropical to tropical
    • Populus euphratica - Euphrates Poplar. Southwest Asia.
    • Populus ilicifolia - Tana River Poplar. East Africa.

Template:Commonsda:Poppel (Populus) de:Pappeln es:lamo eo:Poploj fr:Peuplier it:Populus nl:Populier ja:ポプラ pl:Topola tr:Kavak zh:杨属


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