Populus heterophylla
Swamp or Black cottonwood
Image of Populus heterophylla

Photo by MNFI Staff 

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Key Characteristics

Medium-sized tree of forested depressions; leaves broadly ovate and heart-shaped at the base, slightly pubescent beneath, with round (not flattened) petioles.

Status and Rank

  • State Status: E
  • State Rank: S1
  • Global Rank: G5

Occurrences

County NameNumber of OccurrencesYear Last Observed
Berrien11917
Kalamazoo11996
Lenawee11998
Van Buren11917
Washtenaw21989
Distribution map for Populus heterophylla

Updated 7/21/2017. Information is summarized from MNFI's database of rare species and community occurrences. Data may not reflect true distribution since much of the state has not been thoroughly surveyed.

Habitat

Swamp cottonwood is found in vernal pool and buttonbush depressions in southern Lower Michigan forests.

Natural Community Types

Methodology

For each species, lists of natural communities were derived from review of the nearly 6,500 element occurrences in the MNFI database, in addition to herbarium label data for some taxa. In most cases, at least one specimen record exists for each listed natural community. For certain taxa, especially poorly collected or extirpated species of prairie and savanna habitats, natural community lists were derived from inferences from collection sites and habitat preferences in immediately adjacent states (particularly Indiana and Illinois). Natural communities are not listed for those species documented only from altered or ruderal habitats in Michigan, especially for taxa that occur in a variety of habitats outside of the state.

Natural communities are not listed in order of frequency of occurrence, but are rather derived from the full set of natural communities, organized by Ecological Group. In many cases, the general habitat descriptions should provide greater clarity and direction to the surveyor. In future versions of the Rare Species Explorer, we hope to incorporate natural community fidelity ranks for each taxon.

Associated Plants

Silver maple, red maple, swamp white oak, cinnamon fern, royal fern, skunk cabbage, marsh-marigold, mosses, sensitive fern, black ash, American elm, white ash, red ash, tamarack, red maple, yellow birch, spicebush, and prickly ash.

Management

Little is known of the biology and ecology of this species in Michigan. It may be sensitive to excessive logging and hydrological impacts.

General Survey Guidelines

Random meander search covers areas that appear likely to have rare taxa, based on habitat and the judgment of the investigator.

Survey Methods

Page Citation

Michigan Natural Features Inventory. 2007. Rare Species Explorer (Web Application). Available online at http://mnfi.anr.msu.edu/explorer [Accessed Oct 17, 2017]

More Information

See MNFI Species Abstract

References

Survey References

Technical References

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