Populus × canescens

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Populus × canescens
20120827Pappel Saarbruecken.jpg
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Clade: Rosids
Order: Malpighiales
Family: Salicaceae
Genus: Populus
Species: P. × canescens
Binomial name
Populus × canescens
(Aiton) Sm.[1]
  • Populus alba var. bachofenii (Wierzb. ex Rchb.) Wesm.
  • Populus alba var. canescens Aiton
  • Populus × bachofenii Wierzb. ex Rchb.
  • Populus × hybrida Rchb.

Populus × canescens, the grey poplar, is a hybrid between Populus alba (white poplar) and Populus tremula (common aspen). It is intermediate between its parents, with a thin grey downy coating on the leaves, which are also much less deeply lobed than the leaves of P. albus. It is a very vigorous tree with marked hybrid vigour, reaching 40 m tall and with a trunk diameter over 1.5 m – much larger than either of its parents. Most trees in cultivation are male, but female trees occur naturally and some of these are also propagated.[2]


In 1789 William Aiton described the grey poplar as a variety of Populus alba, P. alba var. canescens.[3] In 1804, James Edward Smith raised it to a full species, Populus canescens.[1] He described differences between the leaves of the two taxa: P. alba has lobed leaves with snow-white ("niveus") undersides, whereas P. canescens has wavy-edged leaves with hoary ("incanus") undersides.[4] Later authors sometimes noted the possibility that the grey poplar was a hybrid.[5] It is now considered to be a hybrid between Populus alba and Populus tremula,[6] so the scientific name is written with the hybrid symbol.


  1. ^ a b c "Populus × canescens", The Plant List, retrieved 2014-11-28 
  2. ^ Rushforth, K. (1999), Trees of Britain and Europe, Collins, ISBN 0-00-220013-9 
  3. ^ "Populus alba var. canescens", The Plant List, retrieved 2014-11-28 
  4. ^ Smith, J.E. (1804), "Populus", Flora Britannica, Volume III, London: J. White, retrieved 2014-11-29 , pp. 1079–1080
  5. ^ Phillips, Roger (1978), Trees in Britain Europe and North America, Pan Macmillan, p. 167, ISBN 0-330-25480-4 
  6. ^ Stace, Clive (2010), New Flora of the British Isles (3rd ed.), Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, ISBN 978-0-521-70772-5