Skip to Main Content
Botanical Garden

Liriodendron tulipifera 'Arnold's Fastigiate' - Columnar tulip poplar

Liriodendron tulipifera
Liriodendron tulipifera
Liriodendron tulipifera

Family Magnoliaceae


Only two species of Liriodendron exist in the world today. Fossils are known from Europe but the only other extant species in this genus is native to China. The tulip poplar, or yellow poplar, is native to the eastern U.S. including north Florida. This tall deciduous tree has distinctive four-lobed leaves and large yellow-green and orange flowers in spring. Historically, yellow poplar was an important timber in the United States. The caterpillars of the tiger swallowtail butterfly feed on the leaves of this tree.


See these plants on the northeast side of the Fine Arts Building (bldg. 45) and the Alumni Square.


This cultivar, Arnold's Fastigiate, was selected for its very narrow crown and smaller maximum size. Reportedly, it grows to sixty feet tall has a maximum spread of fifteen feet. The wild form can grow to over 100 feet tall.

Care Instructions:

Light: full sun

Water: drought tolerant when established, young trees will benefit from irrigation during droughts

Soil: very adaptable, no special requirements

Tulip poplar is a native tree that grows well in northeast Florida. Wild plants grow in moist woods. They become drought tolerant when their roots reach ground water.