T.E.R:R.A.I.N - Taranaki Educational Resource: Research, Analysis and Information Network

Liriodendron tulipifera (Tulip Tree)

Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Magnoliids 
Order: Magnoliales
Family: Magnoliaceae 
Genus: Liriodendron 
Species:  L. tulipifera 
Binomial name: Liriodendron tulipifera
Common names: Tulip tree, Tulip-Poplar, Yellow poplar

The Tulip tree is a native to North America and is the state tree of Indiana, Kentucky and Tennessee  Its a  large tree with a long, straight limb-free bole very often reaching over 30m tall. Its leaf is alternate, simple, palmately veined, orbicular, 4-lobed with an entire margin, 10cm to 20cm long, notched to flat top. Somewhat shaped like a tulip, light green to green. Its flower is monoecious; perfect, showy, resembling a large tulip, but high in the tree, 6.3cm long, with yellow-green petals and an orange corolla, appearing in late spring to early summer. 
The fruit is an oblong (cone-like) aggregate of samaras (5cm long), deciduous at maturity; each samara is 1-winged, 3.8cm long, and curved upwards at seed cavity (resembling the front keel of a boat and winter; base whorls of samaras persist on fruit into following spring and resemble wooden flowers high in the tree. 

Tree in December

Tulip trees with autumn leaves

Tulip tree mid May

The tulip shaped flower.

A Liriodendron tulipifera leaf.shape. 

Trunk of Liriodendron tulipifera