USA Official State Tree of Indiana

Tulip/Yellow Poplar

(Magnoliaceae Liriodendron tulipifera)
Adopted in 1931.

 

The tulip tree, Magnoliaceae Liriodendron tulipifera, known also as yellow poplar, was adopted by the 1931 General Assembly (Indiana Code 1-2-7). It attains great height and can be found throughout the state. The leaf is distinctive (it appears in the border of the state seal), and the lovely bell-shaped greenish-yellow flowers appear in May or June. The soft white wood has many uses.

 

 
 
IC 1-2-7 Chapter 7. State Flower and Tree
IC 1-2-7-1
Sec. 1. The tulip tree (liriodendron tulipifera) is hereby adopted and designated as the official state tree, and the flower of the peony (Paeonie) is hereby adopted and designated as the official state flower of the state of Indiana.
(Formerly: Acts 1931, c.48, s.1; Acts 1957, c.283, s.1.)
 

Yellow-poplar (Liriodendron tulipifera), also called tuliptree, tulip-poplar, white-poplar, and whitewood, is one of the most attractive and tallest of eastern hardwoods. It is fast growing and may reach 300 years of age on deep, rich, well-drained soils of forest coves and lower mountain slopes. The wood has high commercial value because of its versatility and as a substitute for increasingly scarce softwoods in furniture and framing construction. Yellow-poplar is also valued as a honey tree, a source of wildlife food, and a shade tree for large areas.

Description:
  • Leaf: Alternate, simple, palmately veined, orbicular, 4-lobed with an entire margin, 4 to 8 inches long. Somewhat shaped like a tulip.
    Flower: Showy, but high in the tree, 2 1/2 inches long, with yellow-green petals and an orange corolla. Present April to June.
  • Fruit: An oblong aggregate of samaras, deciduous at maturity. Each samara is 1-winged, 1 1/2 inches long, and 4-angled. Maturing August to October.
  • Twig: Red-brown in color, often with a shiny appearance or a waxy bloom. Stipules are large and encircle the twig. Buds are elongated and valvate, resembling a "duck bill". Twigs have a sweet, spicy odor when broken.
  • Bark: Light gray-green in color, often with white in grooves or in patches. Smooth when young, developing flat-topped ridges and furrows in diamond shaped patterns. On older trees sapsucker holes are common.
  • Form: In a stand, this tree is very straight with a limb-free bowl. Open-grown trees have a pyramidal crown when young, becoming oval in shape.
Taxonomic Hierarchy 
Kingdom Plantae -- Plants
Subkingdom Tracheobionta -- Vascular plants
Superdivision Spermatophyta – Seed plants
Division Magnoliophyta – Flowering plants
Class Magnoliopsida – Dicotyledons
Subclass Magnoliidae –
Order Magnoliales –
Family Magnoliaceae – Magnolia family
Genus Liriodendron L. – tuliptree
Species Liriodendron tulipifera L. – tuliptree

 

Source:
Dendrology at Virginia Tech
U.S. Department of Agriculture