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Montana Field Guide

Montana Field Guides

Eastern Cottonwood - Populus deltoides

Native Species

Global Rank: G5
State Rank: S5

Agency Status
MNPS Threat Rank:
C-value: 4

External Links

General Description
Tree 20–30 m with spreading branches. Bark tan, deeply furrowed. Leaf blades 5–10 cm long, deltoid, ca. as long as wide, ca. the same color above and beneath; the base truncate to cordate; the tip long-attenuate; the margins with teeth at least 1 mm deep. Catkins 5–12 cm long; stigmas 3 to 4. Capsules 8–10 mm long (Lesica 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX).

Our plants are subspecies monilifera (Aiton) Eckenw.

Species Range

Range Comments
AB to QC south to CO, TX and FL (Lesica 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX).

Observations in Montana Natural Heritage Program Database
Number of Observations: 142

(Click on the following maps and charts to see full sized version) Map Help and Descriptions
Relative Density



(Observations spanning multiple months or years are excluded from time charts)


  • Additional ReferencesLegend:   View Online Publication
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    • Lesica, P., M. T. Lavin, and P. F. Stickney. 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. Fort Worth, TX: BRIT Press. viii + 771 p.
    • Little, E.L., Jr. 1979. Checklist of United States trees (native and naturalized). Agriculture Handbook No. 541. U.S. Forest Service, Washington, D.C. 375 pp.
    • Shafroth. R B.. G. T. Auble. and M. L. Scott. 1995. Germination and establishment of the native plains Cottonwood (Populits deltoides Marshall subsp. monilifera) and the exotic Russian-olive {Elaeagnvs angustifolia L.). Conservation Biology 9: 1169-1175.
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Citation for data on this website:
Eastern Cottonwood — Populus deltoides.  Montana Field Guide.  .  Retrieved on , from