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garden photography gardening ornamental trees and shrubs RHS

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.