The genus Populus belongs, like willows, to the large family of Salicaceae. The species, mostly arboreal, are about thirty and many are considered endemic to Europe or in any case present since time immemorial. Some are instead relatively recent introductions (from the 1800s) and come from the Far East or the American continent. There is no shortage of hybrids obtained both for ornamental purposes and for intensive cultivation.
In their spontaneous state they are found in almost all environments, from the plain up to 1200-1400 meters above sea level.
They prefer rich and moist soils: they are in fact widespread along the banks of rivers or in floodplain areas
It is also one of the most cultivated essences for the production of timber (especially for plywood) and for the paper industry.
"width =" 745 "height =" 559 "longdesc =" / garden / trees / poplar.asp "> We can recognize a poplar observing the shape of the crown and trunk. They generally have a columnar or pyramidal shape. The trunk is very long and straight, without too many bifurcations. Growth is among the fastest, especially in medium rich and fresh soils (and for this reason they are very cultivated in arboriculture). In a few years they can reach 30 meters in height, but on the other hand, they are generally not very long - lived (with the exception of the poplar black).
The bark is generally light in color with deep vertical cracks. The roots are impressive, but mostly develop on the surface. The shape of the leaves varies greatly not only from species to species, but also from individual to individual: they are mostly ovate, although lobed ones are not lacking. All of them, however, are equipped with a long petiole which allows them to vibrate as the wind passes, creating a pleasant rustle, as well as giving nice chromatic effects (often, in fact, the back is of a different color).
Poplars are mostly dioecious plants: this means that male and female flowers are carried on different individuals. The flowers are collected in hanging catkins. The fruits are capsules wrapped in a light down.