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Cottonwood, Fremont Cottonwood

Populus fremontii

Details & Attributes


Plant Type(s) Tree, perennial
Native to Arizona Yes!
Water Needs High
Sun Full sun
Pollinators Wind
Has Spines No
Size
In relative feet, width by height
60-90+ × 30-60'
Freeze Tolerant No
Flowering Season March-June
Flower Color Yellow or green catkins
Minimum Temperature Range -45 °F
Leaf Description Vaguely heart shaped with sharp tips and serrations on leaf margins
Fruit Capsules with 4 chambers containing numerous tiny seeds with cottony hair attached
View on SEINet View SEINet Entry
Range Map View SEINet Range Map
Ethnobotany Hopi use this tree to make Katchina dolls. Used by the Navajo to make many game pieces.
Description If there is a riparian canyon, than there's a good chance you will find cottonwoods there. These trees are widespread in Arizona but restricted to areas with high water tables or permanent to semi-permanent surface flow. Cottonwoods can get quite large, reaching heights of 60-90+ feet where conditions are good. The beautiful white trunks and serrated heart shaped leaves which turn yellow in the fall add a beautiful palette to Arizona's canyons. The main consideration when cultivating this species is that it requires substantial amounts of water, and if there is none available naturally than it will require high inputs of irrigation. However, if you have an appropriate location then cottonwood can be a beautiful choice for a landscape. Crooks of branches high off the ground provide good nesting sites for hawks and other large birds.