Page authors: Don Knoke, David Giblin
Populus tremuloides
quaking aspen

Distribution: Occurring on both sides of the Cascades crest in Washington; Alaska to California, east across much of North America to the Atlantic Coast.

Habitat: Moist areas, low to fairly high elevations in the mountains

Flowers: April-June

Origin: Native

Growth Duration: Perennial

Conservation Status: Not of concern


Colonial tree, dioecious, up to 15 m. tall, with smooth, greenish-white bark that becomes blackish and somewhat rough on very old trunks; bud scales shiny, but not resinous.


Leaves alternate, relatively small, on slender, laterally-flattened petioles half to fully as long as the blade; blades rotund-ovate to reniform-cordate, 2.5-9 cm. long and 2.5-8 cm. wide, shortly acuminate, paler beneath, the margins finely toothed and hairy, the surfaces glabrous at maturity.


Catkins drooping; the bracts subtending the flowers in the catkins persistent, deeply cleft into a few slender lobes with long, white hairs on the margins; staminate catkins elongating to 2-3 cm. then deciduous; stamens 6-14; pistillate catkins at maturity 4-10 cm. long, with numerous fruits; stigmas 2, each deeply cleft into 2 or more slender lobes.


Capsules lanceolate, 4-6 mm. long, on pedicles 1-2 mm. long

Accepted Name:
Populus tremuloides Michx.
Publication: Fl. Bor. Amer. 2: 243. 1803.

Synonyms & Misapplications:
Populus tremula L. ssp. tremuloides (Michx.) Á. Löve & D. Löve
Additional Resources:

PNW Herbaria: Specimen records of Populus tremuloides in the Consortium of Pacific Northwest Herbaria database

WA Flora Checklist: Populus tremuloides checklist entry

OregonFlora: Populus tremuloides information

E-Flora BC: Populus tremuloides atlas page

CalPhotos: Populus tremuloides photos

83 photographs:
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