Species list


Populus nigra

Black poplar

Black poplar (Eng), chopo, álamo negro, pobo (Spa), pollancre (Cat), makala (Baq), choupo negro, lamagueiro (Glg), choupo-negro, álamo-negro (Por).


DID YOU KNOW...? The black poplar is the fastest growing tree species on the Iberian Peninsula.


This is a poplar which grows up to 30 m tall, has a slender trunk and a pyramidal crown. The leaves are simple, deciduous, alternate (this character is seen best in the middle of the branches, as at the ends they sometimes appear very close together), diamond-shaped or triangular, and finely serrated on the margin. They are bright green on the upper side and have a long stalk that appears flattened. Male and female flowers grow in elongated, hanging groups known as catkins. The fruits are capsules that open when ripe to release seeds wrapped in a cottony material that helps them be dispersed by the wind. This fluff is often confused with pollen, since it coincides with the spring allergy season.


This tree grows on the banks of rivers, margins of lakes, reservoirs and ponded areas, living together with willows, ash and alder. It is also not uncommon to see it next to roads, highways and on very humid abandoned land. It occurs on all soils types, even withstanding a certain degree of salinity, and it lives from sea level up to 1800 m.


The origin of this plant is controversial and there are authors who consider it an introduced species, originally from eastern Europe, although given its ability to spread it appears to be native to the Iberian Peninsula. It occurs across most of Europe, Asia and northern Africa. It has been grown in plantations since ancient times and it has been crossed with other species to obtain more productive varieties. It ranges throughout the Iberian Peninsula.