Department of Energy Argonne National Laboratory Office of Science NEWTON's Homepage NEWTON's Homepage
NEWTON, Ask A Scientist!
NEWTON Home Page NEWTON Teachers Visit Our Archives Ask A Question How To Ask A Question Question of the Week Our Expert Scientists Volunteer at NEWTON! Frequently Asked Questions Referencing NEWTON About NEWTON About Ask A Scientist Education At Argonne Tulip Poplar Seeds
Name: Donna Desheles
Status: other
Age: 40s
Location: N/A
Country: N/A
Date: 5/15/2003


Question:
How do I start a tulip poplar tree? On which part of the original tree can I find the seeds?


Replies:
Donna,

To answer your question, one picture is literally worth one thousand words. I would recommend consulting a dendrology book depicting various tree species and their flowers/fruit at your local public or university/college library.

The tulip poplar is interesting in that the flowers resemble tulips, and the leaves occasionally look like a tulip flower in cross section. As is usual, look for the seeds to appear at the location of the flowers, though later in the season. The seeds are in a structure resembling an upright cone on the end of branches. When the seeds ripen and fall from the structure an upright "peg" is left.....these are often visible in wintertime when the tree has lost its foliage. I can report good resultant seed germination from winged seeds easily dispersed a distance by the wind and gravity. You might save time by locating a seedling already growing in ground nearby a parent tree.

One further piece of information you might find interesting. Old tulip poplars collected and planted by George Washington at his Mount Vernon Virginia mansion whose fertility is reduced due to age are being carefully pollinated in order to produce progeny with a historical ancestry. You might try a search on "Mount Vernon" and check if there are links to a way to purchase these seeds. You will end up with the same tree species but will have an interesting story to tell a friend when you sit under its shade.

(Let me know if you need assistance locating a way to purchase the historical seeds if you are interested)

Thanks for using NEWTON!

Ric Rupnik



Click here to return to the Botany Archives

NEWTON is an electronic community for Science, Math, and Computer Science K-12 Educators, sponsored and operated by Argonne National Laboratory's Educational Programs, Andrew Skipor, Ph.D., Head of Educational Programs.

For assistance with NEWTON contact a System Operator (help@newton.dep.anl.gov), or at Argonne's Educational Programs

NEWTON AND ASK A SCIENTIST
Educational Programs
Building 360
9700 S. Cass Ave.
Argonne, Illinois
60439-4845, USA
Update: June 2012
Weclome To Newton

Argonne National Laboratory