Liriodendron tulipifera – Tulip Tree

Botanical Name: Liriodendron tulipifera

Alternate Name: Tulip Poplar, Yellow Poplar

The Tulip Tree is a majestic and unique tree with unusual leaves and blooms. It has an upward and open growth habit and grows in a widely pyramidal or rounded shape. Liriodendron tulipifera is the tallest growing deciduous tree in North America, growing to a height of 60-90 feet with a spread of 30-50 feet. It is native to the eastern United States and so popular that it is the state tree of Kentucky, Indiana, and Tennessee!

The leaves of the Tulip Tree are an unusual shape. They are large – 4-8 inches across – with a blunt, flat end with a notch in it and four lobes. They are a glossy mid-green and turn golden yellow for a beautiful fall display.

After the leaves have grown in, sometime in May or June, the flowers of the Tulip Tree develop. They are bright yellow with an orange stripe at the base of each petal. They can grow to 2 inches in size and can sometimes be hidden by the leaves. The Tulip Tree is in the Magnolia family, and its flowers bear some resemblance to Cup and Saucer Magnolia flowers that stand upright on the branches.

The fruit that follow the flowers are oblong and cone-shaped with scales. Each fruit bears many winged seeds.

The Tulip Tree is rabbit and deer resistant. It is fast growing, which can mean weaker wood that is susceptible to breakage during wind and ice storms.


Height: 60-90 ft.
Width: 30-50 ft.
Shape: Broadly Pyramidal, Rounded
Flower Color: Yellow, Orange
Flowering Time: May-June
Fall Color: Bright Yellow
Features: Bright fall color, beautiful unique flowers and foliage
Exposure: Full Sun
Watering: Moderate & Regular, leaves will yellow without consistent moisture
Soil: Prefers rich, moist, well-drained loam soil, but tolerant of clay soil
Growth Rate: Fast
USDA Zones: 4-9
Uses: Shade tree, street tree, lawn tree, park tree
Similar Trees: Columnar Tulip Tree (Liriodendron tulipifera ‘Fastigiata’), Elizabeth Magnolia (Magnolia x ‘Elizabeth’), Galaxy Magnolia (Magnolia x ‘Galaxy’), Daybreak Magnolia (Magnolia ‘Daybreak’), Moonglow Magnolia (Magnolia virginiana ‘Jim Wilson’), Yellow Bird Magnolia (Magnolia x brooklynensis ‘Yellow Bird’)

Additional information


Broad, Pyramidal, Rounded

Flower Color

Orange, Yellow

Flowering Time

June, May

Fall Color

Bright Yellow

Growth Rate



Lawn Tree, Park Tree, Shade Tree, Street Tree

USDA Zones

4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9

Mature Height


Mature Width

30'-40', 40'+


Full Sun

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