Populus fremontii ssp. fremontii

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Species Name: Populus fremontii ssp. fremontii
Common Name: Fremont Cottonwood or Gila Cottonwood or Alamo

A beautiful fast-growing shade tree. Loves water. Roots can be invasive, not good in lawns. Female trees produce cotton, males do not.

Plant Family: Salicaceae
Plant Type: Tree
Height by Width: 60' H x 20' W
Growth Habit: Tall, columnar
Deciduous/Evergreen: Winter deciduous
Growth Rate: Fast
Sun Exposure: Full sun
Soil Preference: Adaptable
Water Requirements: Moderate to regular
Cold Hardy to: 6500'
Flower Season: Spring
Flower Color:
Endangered?: Not Listed
Distribution: Throughout California, except Modoc Plateau
Natural Habitat: Alluvial bottomlands, streamsides

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Care and Maintenance

  • Introduced into cultivation in California by Theodore Payne.
  • From California Native Plants, Theodore Payne's 1941 catalog: "A deciduous tree of rapid growth with rough whitish trunk and broad open crown. The leaves are a bright lustrous green slightly cordate and irregularly serrated or toothed on the edge. Makes a splendid shade tree and will thrive anywhere if given sufficient moisture. Gallon cans, 50c; 5 gallon cans, $1.50; Bare roots January to march, 6 to 8 feet branched, $2.00."
Other Names
  • Bornstein, Carol, David Fross, and Bart O'Brien. California Native Plants for the Garden. Los Olivos, CA: Cachuma Press. 2005.