Populus nigra is commonly known as Black Poplar and is native to Europe, southwest and central Asia and north Africa. The trunks are very dark brown so appear black, hence the name. It is a medium to large deciduous tree growing to 30 or exceptionally 40 meters in height. It can live for around 200 years. It is ‘dioecious’, that is, having male and female flowers on different plants, not both on the same tree. The flowers are catkins with their pollen being dispersed by the wind. Once fertilised the catkins develop into fluffy, cotton-like seeds which fall in late summer. It grows fast and is an earlier coloniser of open spaces.
Funky Facts File: It was once numerous and widespread but is now quite rare in the UK and tends to be found in isolation. Loving boggy conditions it is usually found near ditches and on floodplains.