The Tulip-poplar tree inhabits the eastern North America, stretching from western Tennessee and Indiana east
to Vermont and Rhode Island. Its northernmost location is Southern Ontario, Canada, and its southernmost
location is northern Florida (1).
Optimal Growing Conditions
Liriodendron tulipifera grows best in moist, well-drained
soils; this is true especially in valleys and slopes. They often
grow in pure stands (5).
Currently, the Tuliptree is one of the single most important commercial
hardwoods. Its wood is straight-grained, soft, resistant to
splitting, and easily worked. Therefore, Liriodendron
tulipifera is used in products such as furniture, musical
instruments, crates, toys, boats, shingles, interiors, pulp, and
Ethnobotanical and Cultural Information
The Tulip-poplar was one of the prime sources for canoe-making by both
Native Americans and European pioneers, who would hollow out a single log to
make long, lightweight canoes. Its wood was so useful in certain wood-working
applications that the earliest European pioneers brought it back to Europe from
Tulip-poplar has been valued as an ornamental tree since 1663. The tulip-like
flowers and leaves are aesthetically pleasing, and the flowers are producers of a
valuable nectar. The flowers from a 20-year-old tree produce enough nectar
to yield 4 pounds (1.8 kg) of honey (1).
Tulip-poplar's bark was used medicinally in the late 1800's as a tonic for treating rheumatism and dyspepsia, and also as a heart
- The Tulip tree was adopted as the Tennessee state tree in 1947 (3).
- The Tulip tree is in the same family as Southern Magnolia, but the leaves are much
- The Tulip tree is also the state tree of Kentucky and Indiana
Other interesting sites
1. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory. 2001.
2. Evans E. 2000. NC State University Department of Horticulture.
4. Tulip tree, http://www.bcc.orst.edu/hort226/litu1c.htm
5. Little E.L. 1995. National Audubon Society Field Guide to North American
Trees. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, Inc. 436-37 p.
Created by: Nadia Georgivna Fedoriw
Edited by: Sarah Domville