Family: Salicaceae – Willow Family
Deciduous tree; 33' to 82.5' (10 to 25 m) tall
Leaves: alternate; simple; toothed; no hairs; turn yellow in fall; 0.8” to 4” (2 to 10 cm) long, 1.8” to 5” (4.5 to 12.5 cm) wide
Flowers: no petals, no sepals
Individual flowers are either male (staminate) or female (pistillate); borne in catkins on different trees (dioecious); staminate flowers with 50 to 80 stamens are 1.6” to 4” (4 to 10 cm) long with red anthers; pistillate flowers of a single pistil with 2-4 carpels and as many stigmas are 2” to 6” (5 to 15 cm) long
Pollinators: wind; not self-fertile
Blooms in Arches National Park: March, April, May
Habitat in Arches National Park: riparian areas
Location seen: Courthouse wash
Other: The genus name, “Populus”, is Latin for "people" because the many leaves moving in a breeze resemble a moving populace. The species name, “fremontii”, honors explorer John Charles Fremont (1813-1890).
Did You Know?
Pinyon trees do not produce pine nuts every year. These delicious nuts can only be harvested every three to seven years. This irregular schedule prevents animals from adapting to an abundance of pine nuts and guarantees that at least some nuts will become new trees instead of a quick meal.