The American Tulip Trees Are Blooming

>> Monday, May 11, 2009

Commonly known as the American tulip tree, tulip poplar, yellow poplar or tuliptree magnolia, Kentucky’s official state tree is now blooming. Locally they are most often called poplar trees or tulip poplars, although they truly are a member of the magnolia family. They are native to eastern North America from southern Ontario and Illinois eastward across southern New England and south to central Florida and Louisiana. They are a valuable hardwood tree that is fast-growing. The wood is white in color and in some areas the tree is given the name Whitewood. Native Americans used the tree for making their dugout canoes and early settlers west of the Appalachian Mountains called it Canoewood.

The resemblance of its flowers to tulips resulted in it being called the Tulip-tree. The flowers are pale green or yellow with an orange band. Below are photos of the tulip poplar just on the edge of our back yard with its many blooms.

May 10th 001 At a distance it is difficult to see the many blooms.
IMG_5135 Here is a view zoomed in. The blooms are much more obvious.
IMG_5133 Here the tulip shape of one of the blooms is quite apparent.
May 10th 009
I picked from another nearby tree a couple of leaves and a bud that has yet to open and placed them into a vase. I hope to see the bloom open up.


Anonymous May 12, 2009 at 11:09 AM  

I was wondering what this tree was I have one in my front yard in Louisville, KY. Thanks for the info.


Anonymous May 31, 2009 at 8:22 PM  

thanks for the pictures. I have one in the back yard of my south jersey home. This is the first year ive seen it bloom. It was planted as a seedling aprox. 24 years ago. The seedling was taken from a persons wooded yard.

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