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Eastern Cottonwood (Populus deltoides W. Bartram ex Marshall)

Also known as necklace poplar.

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Range - Expand

Native or Not Present
Native or Expanded

This tentative map is based on our own research. It may have limited data on Canada and/or Mexico, and there is some subjectivity in our assignment of plants as introduced vs. expanded. Read more in this blog post.

This species has expanded its range slightly to the northeast, into Maine.


Found mostly in floodplains and bottomland woodlands, along rivers and streams, in sandbars of rivers, and at margins of swamps. Also found in low spots in sandy uplands where the water table is locally high, and next to springs with enough flows to form ponds.

Mostly found in early-successional habitats with high light conditions, often together with willows, that are maintained by frequent flooding that kills less flood-tolerant species. Tolerates temporary flooding in spring. Tolerates drought once established.


Occasionally used in landscaping as a large shade tree, but a poor choice in many cases due to its aggressive root system and tendency to drop limbs.


The term "Eastern cottonwood" is highly misleading because this species occurs, and is native, coast-to-coast, and is actually even more common in the southwestern-to-central portions of its range than it is in the east. Unfortunately, this common name is widely in use and the only other widely-used name, "necklace poplar", is an even worse choice, as it more frequently refers to the Chinese necklace poplar, Populus lasiocarpa, which does not occur in North America.

Eastern Cottonwood | The Wood Database (About This Site)

Eastern Cottonwood | Fire Effects Information System (FEIS) (About This Site)

Populus deltoides (Eastern Cottonwood) | Illinois Wildflowers (About This Site)

Populus deltoides (Eastern Cottonwood) | USDA PLANTS Database (About This Site)

Populus deltoides | Go Botany (About This Site)

Eastern Cottonwood | iNaturalist (About This Site)

Populus deltoides (Eastern Cottonwood) | Missouri Botanical Garden Plant Finder (About This Site)

Eastern Cottonwood | Virginia Tech Dendrology Factsheets (About This Site)

Populus deltoides | Biota of North America Project (BONAP) (About This Site)

Populus deltoides | NatureServe Explorer (About This Site)

Populus deltoides | Flora of North America (About This Site)

Eastern Cottonwood | Maryland Biodiversity Project (About This Site)