As the deciduous trees’ foliage grows in, the landscape really changes around here. It morphs from the austerity of gnarled branches pointing, unadorned, at the dormant landscape, to a lush green canopy, densely leafy, rustling luxuriantly in the breeze. There’s no mistaking spring here…and the Tulip Poplar welcomes it with beautifully unusual flowers.
Who expects to see tulips in the trees? And yet, there they are. The shape of the leaf, itself, is reminiscent of tulips, but those blooms are the clincher!
And – probably no big surprise – the Tulip Polar is valued in herbal medicine for its diuretic, tonic, stimulant, and anthelmintic uses. Further, the roots can be used as flavoring, the bark as a dye, and the wood is valuable as timber. The flowers also contain a very sweet nectar in each bloom, which explains why it’s a hummingbird favorite.
This tall, full, tree is also unusual in how its leaves emerge: first yellow, then becoming green, and – when they fall in Autumn – yellow once again. Full circle.
In this verdant time of year, there is (useful) beauty everywhere, if you look for it. Learn more about this unique relative of the magnolia here.