The tulip tree, also known as tulip poplar or yellow poplar, is not actually a poplar, which are in the willow family. Tulip trees are instead in the magnolia family, which makes sense considering its large yellow, orange, and green tulip-like flowers and large leaves that look like tulips in profile. One of the largest native trees in North America, tulip trees routinely grow over 100 feet tall with straight, stout trunks. Native Americans and pioneers used the large trunks to build canoes up to forty feet long, and the Cherokee made baskets and numerous medicines from the inner bark. These forest giants provide nesting sites for birds and their flowers attract butterflies and hummingbirds. Tulip tree wood is relatively soft and used for carving, furniture, lumber, musical instruments, and pulpwood.
Sponsor: Kathy Johnson