Populus grandidentata Michx.
Populus grandidentata Michx. var. angustata Victorin
Populus grandidentata Michx. var. meridionalis Tidestr.
Populus grandidentata Michx. var. subcordata Victorin
Bigtooth Aspen, Large-tooth Aspen, American Aspen, White Poplar, Aspen
Bigtooth aspen is a native of eastern North America. It prefers sandy, loamy soils, including high, rocky sites. This is a clonal species, forming small groves of genetically identical trees.
Plants: Deciduous tree, 59-115' (18-35 m) tall, with a trunk 12-55" (30-140 cm) in diameter. Younger trees have smooth olive green bark. With age, the bark becomes gray or gray-brown, thick, and roughly grooved, with diamond-shaped lenticels.
Leaves: Alternate, simple, ovate to nearly circular, 2½-4½" (7-12 cm) × 1¼-4" (3.5-10 cm), with large blunt teeth. When leaves first open, they are covered by dense whitish hairs. Later leaves are dark bluish green on top, and pale green below. In the fall, they are golden yellow. The leaf stem (petiole) is flattened vertically.
Flowers: These trees are dioecious: male and female flowers occur on different trees. Both flowers are catkins, clusters of drooping narrow fuzzy flowerheads. Both catkins are about 1-3" (3-8 cm) long. The male catkins have 6-13 red stamens, while the female catkins have red stigmas.
Fruits: Fruits are in similar catkins, ¼-½" (8-15 mm) long. Each fruit is a thin cone with a rounded base and two valves, a little like a pear, up to ⅛" (6 mm) long. They eventually open to reveal tiny brown tufted seeds.
Populus grandidentata at the Virginia Tech Department of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation
Populus grandidentata on the New England Wildflower Society’s GoBotany site
Populus grandidentata on BorealForest.org
Populus grandidentata at Minnesota Wildflowers
Populus grandidentata at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center
Populus grandidentata at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay Cofrin Center for Biodiversity
Populus grandidentata description by Thomas H. Kent, last updated 12 Oct 2018.