By TammyWhite
3 years ago

Tulip tree flower

Liriodendron or Tulip tree is a genus of two species of characteristically large deciduous trees in the magnolia family (Magnoliaceae).

These trees are widely known by the common name tulip tree or tuliptree for their large flowers superficially resembling tulips. The Scientific Greek Liriodendron actually means "lily tree".
The tulip tree is sometimes referred to as tulip poplar or yellow poplar, and the wood simply as "poplar", although Liriodendron is not closely related to the true poplars, but is more closely related to magnolia trees. The tree is also called canoewood, saddle-leaf tree, and white wood.

Two species of Liriodendron are known to exist. Liriodendron tulipifera is native to eastern North America, while Liriodendron chinense is native to China and Vietnam. Both species often grow to great size, sometimes exceeding 50 m (164 ft) in height.
The American species is commonly used horticulturally, and hybrids have been produced between these two allopatrically distributed species.

Various extinct species of Liriodendron have been described from the fossil record.

Liriodendron trees are easily recognized by their leaves, which are distinctive, having four lobes in most cases and a cross-cut notched or straight apex.
Leaf size varies from 8–22 cm long and 6–25 cm wide. The tulip tree is often a large tree, 18–50 m high and 60–120 cm in diameter. The tree grows to an extreme height of 190' in groves where they compete for sunlight, somewhat less if growing in an open field.
Its trunk is usually columnar, with a long, branch-free bole forming a compact, rather than open, conical crown of slender branches. It has deep roots that spread widely.

Leaves are slightly larger in L. chinense, compared to L. tulipifera, but with considerable overlap between the species; the petiole is 4–18 cm long. Leaves on young trees tend to be more deeply lobed and larger in size than those on mature trees. In autumn, the leaves turn yellow, or brown and yellow. Both species grow rapidly in rich, moist soils of temperate climates. They hybridize easily.

Flowers are 3–10 cm in diameter and have nine tepals — three green outer sepals and six inner petals which are yellow-green with an orange flare at the base. They start forming after around 15 years and are superficially similar to a tulip in shape, hence the tree's name. Flowers of L. tulipifera have a faint cucumber odor. The stamens and pistils are arranged spirally around a central spike or gynaecium; the stamens fall off, and the pistils become the samaras. The fruit is a cone-like aggregate of samaras 4–9 cm long, each of which has a roughly tetrahedral seed with one edge attached to the central conical spike and the other edge attached to the wing.

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