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Woody > Populus > Populus nigra > Populus nigra

Populus nigra

Black Poplar

Origin:  Black Poplar is native to Europe, North Africa, and western Asia.
            Mike's Opinion

this is Mike


Populus nigra, tree is long-lasting, large in size, and can be found mostly in flood plains where the soil is moist and rich. The Black Poplar is known to be a dioecious tree meaning it has male and female parts but on separate trees where the wind pollinates it. The bark ranges from grey, green, and brown, the leaves being green and the male catkins being red and female are yellowish green in colour. There is myth about the Black Poplar which states that the male catkins are the devil's fingers and can be bad luck when you pick them up.

Michael Pascoe, NDP., ODH., CLT., MSc. (Plant Conservation)


Tree (deciduous)
USDA Hardiness Zone
3 - 9
Temperature (°C)
-13 - (-25)
30 m
18 m
Description and Growing Information
Flowering Period
This woody deciduous tree is best suited for avenues, parks estates or large areas where its weak branching does not become a liability.
For best results, the tree grows well in floodplains, along ditches with rich moist soil. This tree will grow in most soil pH levels.
Upright tree with a large trunk and canopy.
The Black Poplar is commonly known to have cankers, leaf rusts, and poplar scab.
It would typically be found in floodplains, ditches, or moist soils.
Bark/Stem Description
The bark on the Populus nigra can range from a grey/green to a grey/brown with a rugged texture.
Flower/Leaf Bud Description
Buds on the Black Poplar are pointy and dull-brown in colour, with a resinous coating on them.
Leaf Description
Leaves are triangular to diamond shaped, ovate, up to 10 cm in size, shiny and are a greyish-green colour. The leaves produce a balsam scent and when young, have tiny hairs on them that fall off in the autumn.
Flower Description
The male flowers on the Black Poplar are catkins, 7. 5 cm in length, red in colour, very attractive, and produced in spring. The female flowers are greenish -yellow in colour and pollinated by the wind. This tree is considered to be dioecious, which means the male and female flowers are on separate trees.
Fruit Description
Once the female fruit is pollinated it will turn into a cotton-like fluffy seed.
Colour Description
Populus nigra has a brown/green/grey bark colour, with green/grey foliage. The flower on the male catkins are red in colour and the female's are a yellowish-green colour. This tree is a vibrant yellow in the autumn.
Texture Description
Notable Specimens
Ethnobotanical Uses (Disclaimer)
It’s most common uses are floorboards (timber), clogs, matches, carts, artificial limbs, wine cases, shelving, pallets and children toys.
Bryant, G., & Rodd, T. (2011). Trees and shrubs: A gardener's encyclopedia. Richmond Hill, Ont.: Firefly Books. 2.Davis, B. (1990). The gardener's illustrated encyclopedia of climbers & wall shrubs: A guide to more than 2000 varieties including roses, clematis and fruit trees. Middlesex, England: Viking.