Populus ciliata

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Himalayan poplar
Safeda 3.jpg
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Rosids
Order: Malpighiales
Family: Salicaceae
Genus: Populus
Species: P. ciliata
Binomial name
Populus ciliata
Wall. ex Royle

Populus ciliata, the Himalayan poplar, is a large deciduous tree with tall clean straight trunk and wide rounded crown.[1] The bark of the young trees is smooth greenish-grey and the bark of the old trees is dark brown with vertical cracks. Leaves are broadly ovate with serrulate-crenate and hairy margins.[1] Flowers are drooping raceme catkins appear before or with leaves.[1] Populus ciliata flowers are dioecious, individual flowers are either male or female. Perianth of male flowers is bell-shaped and female flowers are bluntly toothed. Their capsule encloses an average of 100–150 seeds, which are covered by long silky hair.[1]

Common names[edit]

Ecology and distribution[edit]

Geographical distribution[edit]

Populus ciliata is distributed along the Himalayas through Pakistan, India (Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh), Nepal, Bhutan, and Myanmar.[2] Populus ciliata is native to India and Pakistan. It is exotic to Afghanistan, China, France, Iran, Italy, Japan, Nepal, New Zealand, and United States of America.[1]

Natural habitat[edit]

Populus ciliata prefers moist cool places and grows in sandy, loamy, and clay soil.[1] It grows well in acidic or neutral soil conditions.[1] Shade inhibits the growth of P. ciliata.[1]

Reproductive biology[edit]

Populus ciliata is a dioecious tree which is pollinated by the wind.[1] The fruits grow in about 3 months after pollination.[1] Seed dispersal takes place from about the middle of June to the middle of July depending upon the climate.[1] It can reproduce through seed and vegetative means.[3]


The seeds weigh about 15 million/kg.[1] In spring, seeds disperse as soon as they mature as they have an extremely short period of viability and needs to be spread within a few days of maturing.[3] Fresh seeds exhibit high viability giving a germination rate of up to 75–90%.[1]



Populus ciliata is chopped for food and stored to be fed to livestock during the times of food shortage.[1]


Populus ciliata is used as fuel wood.[1]


Populus ciliata wood is used for making boxes for packing purposes, also for poles, trucks and barrow-trays, coaches, furniture and cross-beams.[1]


Bark is used to make tonic, stimulants and blood purifier. The paste of the bark, when mixed with the ash of cow dung, can be used to treat muscular swellings.[1]


Populus ciliata provides paper for writing, wrapping and printing.[1]

Erosion control[edit]

This tree can be used to control erosion as it easily establishes in shallow soils and exhibits a fast growth rate and produces numerous strong lateral roots with little taper.[1] Hence, extensive use of this tree is made in China, Japan, the USA and New Zealand to bind soil in erosion-prone areas.[1]

Pests and diseases[edit]

During raining season, the leaves of the tree become extensively colonized by leaf defoliators such as Pyragea cupreata and P. fulgurita.[1] In India record show that this tree has been a victim of the plant parasite known as Loranthus elatus.[1] Other pathogens that cause premature defoliation in this species include Bipolaris mydis, Pseudocercospora salicia and Phorma macrostoma.[1] Incidences of ganoderma root rot have also been reported in this species.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y http://www.worldagroforestrycentre.org/sea/Products/AFDbases/af/asp/SpeciesInfo.asp?SpID=1333. 2011 “HIMALAYAN Poplar (Populus ciliata)- AgroForestryTree Database”,
  2. ^ http://www.efloras.org/florataxon.aspx?flora_id=5&taxon_id=200005658. "HIMALAYAN Poplar (Populus ciliata)- Flora of Pakistan".
  3. ^ a b Sheikh, MI (1992). "Populus ciliata" (PDF). Trees of Pakistan: 5–142. ,

External links[edit]

Wikisource "Poplar". Encyclopædia Britannica. 22 (11th ed.). 1911. pp. 89–90.