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One of the largest native trees in North America, the tulip poplar can reach heights of 150 feet in nature. It is actually a member of the magnolia family, and named for its distinct tulip-shaped leaves and flowers. These showy, goblet-shaped, orange-yellow-green flowers appear in late spring after the leaves, although on a mature specimen they can be hard to see.

Latin Name

Liriodendron tulipifera



Also Known As

Tulip tree White poplar Whitewood

Type of Plant

Trees Trees


Fall Fall
Summer Summer


Max height Max Height: 90'
Max spread Max Spread: 50'


  • Shade Tree

  • Sunlight Exposure

    Full Sun Full Sun
    Part Sun Part Sun
    Part Shade Part Shade

    Attracted Wildlife

    Hummingbirds Hummingbirds


    Native Range

    Deciduous forests of Eastern US


    Washington recorded in his diary on January 12, 1785 that he "Road to my Mill Swamp, where my Dogue run hands were at work & to other places in search of the sort of Trees I shall want for my walks, groves, & Wildernesses." Among those trees were the tulip poplars that are located in the Bowling Green just outside the Upper and Lower Garden gates, which he found in the area that is now the Pioneer Farmer site.

    Other Details

    Pollinator Pollinator
    Sold at Mount Vernon Sold at Mount Vernon

    Planted at Mount Vernon

    Planted at Mount Vernon Bowling Green

  • Bowling Green

  • Hardiness Zones

    4b 5a 5b 6a 6b 7a 7b 8a USDA basemap

    Average annual extreme minimum temperature 1976-2005

    map legend 4b 5a 5b 6a 6b 7a 7b 8a

    Bartlett Tree Expert Company has been working with Mount Vernon Estate since 2011 providing expert arboricultural care and GPS mapping for the estate’s historic trees, as well as support from their research facility.   Mount Vernon is proud to partner with Bartlett Tree Experts and appreciates their sponsorship of George Washington’s Mount Vernon Plant Finder App.

    Bring Washington's Garden Home

    Purchase our historic seeds, collected from plants grown at Mount Vernon and plant them in your own garden.

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