Image for Narrowleaf Cottonwood

Narrowleaf Cottonwood

Scientific name

Populus angustifolia


The Narrowleaf Cottonwood is a fast growing deciduous tree species that can grow up to 20 m tall. This plant may also be known by the common names: Willow Cottonwood, Bitter Cottonwood, or Mountain Cottonwood. The bark is yellowish white in colour and becomes furrowed when mature. The leaves are dark green coloured, alternately arranged, lanceolate to ovate shaped, 5-9 cm long, and have glandular toothed margins. The flowers of this tree are cylindrical clusters called catkins. These catkins produce seed capsules, which contain tiny cotton like seeds. Narrowleaf Cottonwood has an extensive root system that makes it useful for controlling erosion and stabilizing shorelines. This tree is a valuable source of food and habitat for many wildlife species, like birds and small mammals. However, Narrowleaf Cottonwood is also a favorite food and building material for beavers.

Planting conditions

Narrowleaf Cottonwood grows best in moist to wet conditions with full or partial sun exposure. It can grow in a variety of soil types and a range of pH levels. It can tolerate periodic flooding and is intolerant of drought. This tree can be naturally found along river or stream shorelines, in foothills, in high plains, or in wetland areas.


  • Plant height:
    • Any
    • Over 3m
  • Moisture level:
    • Normal
    • Moist
    • Wet
    • Flood Tolerant
  • Light conditions:
    • Full sun
  • Soil type:
    • Sandy
    • Loamy
    • Clay
    • Rocky
  • pH:
    • Acidic
    • Basic
    • Normal
  • Depth:
    • Potted
    • Bareroot
  • Eco Zone:
    • 3b
    • 4a
    • 4b
    • 5a
    • 5b
  • Plant type:
    • Tree
  • Height:
    • 20 m
  • Spread:
    • 2 m