Scientific Name: Liriodendron tulipifera

Trail Location: 37

Tulip Poplar - Townsend River Walk & Arboretum - Spring 2019

  1. General Info
  2. Flowers
  3. Leaves
  4. Fruit
  5. Wildlife Value
  6. Addtional Info

Plant Type: Deciduous

Family: Magnoliaceae (Magnolia)

USDA Hardiness Zones: 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9


Height: 40 - 150

Spread: 30 - 50

Flower:: Showy

Bloom Information:: White to yellow with a red to orange skirt blooms Spring to Early Summer. Flowers appear when the leaves have set making difficult to see unless above the tree or low branches..

Leaf Image:

Leaf Description:: The leaves are very distinct and looks like a persons body with ridges looking like two legs and two arms.

Fall Leaf Color:: Yellow and Orange

Missouri Botanical: Missouri Botanical

Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center: Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center


There are several fine specimans of Tulip Poplar in the arboretum.  Some going well over 150 years old.  Look for them with their distinctive leaves, bark and straight trunks reaching the sky.  The speciman we choose is over 80 feet tall and as you can see for a large tree has very little space requirements.  Step back to the hilliside to get a great view of theis magnificent tree.

The yellow poplar tree, which is actually a member of the Magnolia family, is the tallest of the hardwoods in the Tennessee forest reaching heights of 100 - 150 ft.

The Tulip Poplar has been the state tree of Tennessee since 1947 as enacted by Public Chapter 204 of the Acts of the 75th General Assembly.  As the main lumber source used by the pioneers, it was selected because it grows from one end of the state to the other.