Populus alba L.

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Populus alba L. Family

Salicaceae

Populus alba L. English Name

White Poplar

Populus alba L. Local Name

Sufaida. Poplar

Populus alba L.

Populus alba L. Description

This plant is a medium sized deciduous tree that grows to the heights of about 15 to 30m. The trunk is up to 2 m in diameter. The bark is greenish white and smooth in young trees and blackish and fissured in old trees. It also propagates by means of root suckers growing from the lateral roots, often as far as 20 to 30 m from the trunk, to form extensive clonal colonies. The leaves are small and 5 to 15cm long, five lobed, with a thick covering of white scurfy down on both sides, but thicker underneath; this layer wears off 8 cm long, produced in early spring; they are dioecious, with male and female catkins on separate trees; the male catkins are grey with conspicuous dark red stamens, the female catkins are greyish green. The female catkins lengthen to 8 to 10 cm after pollination, with several green seed capsules, maturing in late spring to early summer.

Populus alba L.

Populus alba L. Distribution

It is native central Europe and central Asia. It can also be found in Pakistan and India. It grows in moist sites, often by watersides, in regions with hot summers and cold to mild winters. It prefers sandy, loamy and clay soils. It Favours well-drained soil. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers dry or moist soil. The plant can tolerate maritime exposure.

Populus alba L.

Populus alba L. Uses

It has both edible and medicinal uses. Leaves are rich in vitamins specifically vitamin C. Inner bark is usually dried and grounded into a powder and added into flour to make bread. The bark is used in the manufacturing of locally made aspirin.

(Rushforth, 1999)

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