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Populus nigra. Synonym: Populus nigra variety italica. (Lombardy Poplar)  
Salicaceae (Willow Family)

Foothills. Farmlands, lawns. Spring.
Near Yellowjacket Canyon, June 21, 2004.

Lombardy Poplars are an introduced species (probably as early as the end of the 1700s) planted across the United States as an ornamental and windbreak. The tree apparently originated in Italy in the early 1700s as a mutation of Populus nigra.  It bears no female flowers and reproduces from root shoots and cuttings.

Lombardy Poplars are fast growing, have soft wood, and require good moisture to reach the 80-100 foot height of the trees shown on this page. 

Tops of the trees wildly sway ten or twenty feet in heavy winds and the ground is then littered with the weaker branches. 

Orioles, Grosbeaks, and many other birds nest in the branches.

"Populus" is Latin for "people" and is the classical Latin name for the tree.  "Nigra" is Latin for "dark or black".

Populus nigra. Synonym: Populus nigra variety italica. (Lombardy Poplar)

Foothills. Farmlands, lawns. Spring.
Near Yellowjacket Canyon, June 21, 2004.

Lombardy leaves are typical of Poplar leaves: thick, shiny on the top side, and heart-shaped.  Bark is gray and longitudinally furrowed with many short side branches.

Lombardy Poplars hold their golden yellow leaves for many weeks in the fall. 
Notice the Red-winged Blackbirds enjoying the first rays of morning sun at the top left side of the two left trees .

Range map © John Kartesz,
Floristic Synthesis of North America

State Color Key

Species present in state and native
Species present in state and exotic
Species not present in state

County Color Key

Species present and not rare
Species present and rare
Species extirpated (historic)
Species extinct
Species noxious
Species exotic and present
Native species, but adventive in state
Eradicated
Questionable presence

Range map for Populus nigra