Home Help Glossary About
Uses Name Characteristics

Cottonwood

Populus deltoides

Family: Salicaceae

Location:
  • usually found along rivers and streams
Characteristics:
  • can grow to be one of the largest trees in North America (up to 100 feet tall and 5 feet in diameter
  • recognized by the shiny leaves that shimmer and shake in the wind
  • related to Poplars and Aspens

Leaves:
  • triangular
  • rounded teeth
  • flattened petiole that causes leaves to shake in the wind
  • turn bright yellow in fall

Reproductive Structures:
  • female trees produce small, fluffy white seeds that give this species its name
Bark:
  • deeply furrowed; thick and blocky
Uses:
Dead cottonwood trunks can provide a warm winter bed. A piece of this dried softwood can be used to construct the fireboard of a bow drill, useful for igniting a pile of tinder. The rotten inner bark shredded into small pieces is an excellent tinder material or can be twisted into cordage.

Home Help Glossary About