This section is from the book "An Illustrated Flora Of The Northern United States, Canada And The British Possessions Vol1", by Nathaniel Lord Britton, Addison Brown. Also available from Amazon: An Illustrated Flora of the Northern United States, Canada and the British Possessions. 3 Volume Set..
Populus alba L. Sp. PI. 1034. 1753.
A large tree, with smooth light gray bark, attaining a maximum height of about 1200 and a trunk diameter of 6°. Young foliage densely white-tomentose, the leaves becoming glabrate and dark green above, persistently tomentose beneath, broadly ovate or nearly orbicular in outline, apex acute, base truncate or subcordate, 3-5-lobed or irregularly dentate, 2 1/2'-4' long; petioles nearly terete, shorter than the blade; staminate aments 1'-2' long.
In yards and along roadsides, springing up from suckers of older trees. New Brunswick to Ontario and Virginia. Native of Europe and Asia. Wood soft, nearly white; weight 38 lbs. per cubic foot. Abel or rattler-tree. White or great aspen. Dutch beech. White-bark. March-May.
Populus balsamifera L. Sp. PI. 1034. 1753.
A large tree, with nearly smooth gray bark, reaching a maximum height of about 8o° and a trunk diameter of 7°, the branches stout, spreading, the large buds very resinous, the foliage glabrous. Leaves broadly ovate, dark green and shining above, pale beneath, acute or acuminate at the apex, rounded or subcordate at the base, crenulate, 3'-5' long, petioles terete; aments and bracts somewhat pubescent; stamens 18-30; lobes of the stigmas broad; capsules ovoid, short-pedicelled.
In moist or dry soil, especially along streams and lakes, Newfoundland to Hudson Bay and Alaska, south to Connecticut, New York, Michigan, South Dakota and Oregon. Wood soft, weak, brown, compact; weight per cubic foot 23 lbs. Ontario or rough-bark poplar. April.
P. candicans Ait. Hort. Kew. 3: 406. 1789. P. balsamifera var. candicans A. Gray, Man. Ed. 2, 419. 1856.
A large tree, sometimes nearly 100° high, with a trunk up to 62° in diameter, the old bark gray, ridged, the young twigs slightly pubescent, the buds resinous, pointed. Leaves broadly ovate, 2Y-6' long, cordate to narrowed at the base, acute at the apex, dark green above, pale beneath, crenulate, pubescent when young, and somewhat so on the veins beneath when mature, the petioles terete, pubescent or ciliate; aments 6' long or less, their bracts lacerate; capsules narrowly ovoid, acute, short-pedicelled, 3"-4" long.
Roadsides and along streams, Newfoundland to Virginia, Michigan, South Dakota and Alaska; in the east mostly or wholly escaped from cultivation. Wood soft, weak, brown; weight per cubic foot about 24 lbs. April-May.
Populus angustifolia James, Long's Exp. 1: 497. 1823. Populus balsamifera var. angustifolia S. Wats. Bot. King's Exp. 327. 1871.
A slender tree, maximum height about 650, trunk diameter 2°; crown narrowly pyramidal, branches ascending, foliage glabrous. Twigs terete, gray; leaves lanceolate, ovate-lanceolate or ovate, spreading, drying brownish, gradually acuminate or acute at the apex or some of them obtuse, narrowed, rounded or rarely subcordate at the base, 2'-4 1/2' long, 1/2'- 1 1/4' wide, finely crenulate from base to apex; petioles plano-convex, not flattened laterally; 1/4'-1/2' long; lateral veins 8-15 on each side of the blade; staminate aments oblong-cylin-dric, 1'-2 1/2 ' long; lobes of the stigmas broad; capsules ovoid, short-pedicelled.
In moist soil, especially along streams, Assiniboia to South Dakota, Nebraska, New Mexico, and Chihuahua. Wood soft, weak, brown, compact; weight per cubic foot 24 lbs. Black or willow-cottonwood. April-May.