The Tulip Tree

Over the years we have seen Tulip Trees with just a few flowers on them. Every time we see them we are amazed by them. How can a tree have flowers like tulips? But they are indeed just like big green, pale orange and lemon coloured tulip flowers.

On a summer visit to Devon’s RHS garden Rosemoor, we were astonished to come across the biggest Tulip Tree we had ever seen and it was covered in bloom from top to toe. It must have been near maturity as it was about 100 feet tall, which is its maximum size.

What made this tree particularly special at the time was that we could find the flowers from every stage of development from bud through to seed head.

Tulip Trees are also known as the Tulip Poplar and the Yellow Poplar. It has a lyrical botanic name – Liriodendron tulipifera. The photo above illustrates that it has leaves of an unusual shape, described by some as “saddle shaped” and these turn yellow and red in the autumn.

About greenbenchramblings

A retired primary school head teacher, I now spend much of my time gardening in our quarter acre plot in rural Shropshire south of Shrewsbury. I share my garden with Jude my wife a newly retired teacher , eight assorted chickens and a plethora of wildlife. Jude does all the heavy work as I have a damaged spine and right leg. We also garden on an allotment nearby. We are interested in all things related to gardens, green issues and wildlife.
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4 Responses to The Tulip Tree

  1. pbmgarden says:

    Really enjoyed your post about these wonderful trees. Tulip poplars are native to eastern North America and here in southern U.S. they bloom beginning in April. I will have to look around more closely but don’t think I’ve seen them blooming this time of year.

    • To us they are so special it is hard to imagine them as native trees. In the UK they fail to flower at all some years or just manage a few blooms.

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  2. Val says:

    Sounds like the perfect tree… I imagine it looks amazing in autumn as well.

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