White Poplar (Populus alba) - branches - September 2017
One of several White poplar trees in the Hill barton industrial estate of Exeter, UK. === White poplar is a deciduous broadleaf tree native to central and southern Europe, though it is naturalised in the UK. White poplar can grow to 20m. It is the whitest tree in the landscape, and from a distance it can appear to be covered in snow. The bark is pale grey with lines of black diamond-shaped pores, called lenticels. Twigs are white, and young twigs have a covering of dense white hair that last until their second year. It is native to Morocco and the Iberian Peninsula, white poplar grows in moist conditions, often by watersides. === This species is introduced and widely planted in parks and gardens, mainly for the beauty of its foliage. It flourishes in polluted air or near the sea. Male catkins, 4-7 cm long, and female catkins 2-5 cm long, appear on separate trees (dioecious) in February and March, well before the leaves. The male catkins have purple anthers, whilst the females have greenish stigmas. Male trees are rare, so fertile catkins and seed are infrequent. Goat Moth caterpillars tunnel under the bark and damage the timber below. It is seldom cultivated for timber because other species of poplar grow more quickly. It is a native from Western Europe to Central Asia introduced to Britain from Holland in the 16th century === Scientific classification Kingdom: Plantae (unranked): Angiosperms (unranked): Eudicots (unranked): Rosids Order: Malpighiales Family: Salicaceae Genus: Populus Section: Populus Species: P. alba Binomial name Populus alba
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