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Lombardy poplar (Populus nigra)

Lombardy poplar Description: Introduced to North America for its fast growth and usefulness as a short-lived screen or windbreak.

Habit: Deciduous, very slender upright crown (column-like), may reach up to 60 ft in height with only a spread of 10-15 ft, upward bending branches start close to the ground.

Leaves: Alternate, simple, broadly deltoid (triangular), 2-4 in long, finely serrate-crenate, straight across the base, petiole flattened, shiny dark green in color above and paler beneath.

Stems: Moderate to stout, light brown to yellow-brown, swollen at leaf scars; large, sticky, reddish brown conical buds.

Flowers: Dioecious, in the variety "Italica" only male trees are seen, male flowers are slender, reddish to yellow green in color, hanging catkins, 2-3 in long, appear in early spring before the leaves.

Fruit and seeds: Hanging cluster of light brown capsules containing numerous small fluffy seeds. Variety "Italica" is not known to produce fruit.

Habitat: Native to Africa, Asia and Europe. The variety "Italica" is native to the Mediterranean region. Grows in full sun; clay, sand, loam, alkaline, acidic, occasionally wet or well-drained soil; high drought tolerance.

Reproduction: By bare root or cuttings.

Similar species: Eastern cottonwood (Populus deltoides); Fremont cottonwood (Populus fremontii).

Monitoring and rapid response: These trees are very susceptible to disease, such as stem canker disease.

Credits: The information provided in this factsheet was gathered from the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Science and Virginia Tech Department of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation VTree.

Individual species images that appear with a number in a black box are courtesy of the network ( photo author credits may not be included due to the small display size of the images and subsequent difficulty of reading the provided text. All other images appear courtesy of Google (

Common Name:

Lombardy poplar

Scientific Name:

Populus nigra







USDA Symbol: