Tulip Tree - Liriodendron tulipifera
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1. Branching / leaf arrangement (or leaf scars)
.... 1 Opposite
.... 2 Alternate
.... 3 Spiral
.... 4 Whorled 2. Internal feature of Twig (lateral section)

2. Internal feature of Twig (lateral section)
.... 1. Spongy & continuous
.... 2. Diaphragmed
.... 3. Chambered

3. Internal feature of Twig (cross section)
.... 1. Triangle
.... 2. Star shaped (multiple points)
.... 3. Round

4. Pith color
.... 1. White
.... 2. Brown
.... 3. Green
.... 4. Pink

5. Twig surface textures
.... 1. Hairy
.... 2. Glabrous
.... 3. Lustrous
.... 4. Thorns, spines or prickles

6. Twig taste / smell (Spicy - aromatic)
.... 1. No taste / smell
.... 2. Disagreeable
.... 3. Bitter almond
.... 4. Wintergreen
.... 5. Camphor

7. Bark texture (age of tree will effect bark texture)
.... 1. Smooth (young)
.... 2. Peeling
.... 3. Scaley (patches of thin bark)
.... 4. Shaggy
.... 5. Furrowed or ridges (older)
.... 6. Blocky
.... 7. Netted (criss crossing pattern)

8. Branching pattern
.... 1. Monopodial (true end bud)
.... 2. Sympodial geniculate (zig-zag - end leaf - no end bud)

9. Leaf scar shape
.... 01. Horse shoe (nearly surrounds bud)
.... 02. U shaped
.... 03. Half round
.... 04. Crescent
.... 05. Shield shaped
.... 06. Heart shaped (or three lobed)
.... 07. V shaped
.... 08. Round
.... 09. Triangular
.... 10. Linear

10. Bark pattern around branches
.... 1. Round
.... 2. Tent
.... 3. Eye
.... 4. Drape
.... 5. Under only
.... 6. Cone
.... 7. None

11. Leaf type
.... 1. Simple
.... Compound
.... 2. Opposite or in pairs
.... 3. Alternate
.... 4. Basal
.... 5. Whorl or Spiral
.... 6. Double compound

The tulip tree, Liriodendron tulipfera, has been considered part of the magnolia family. But David Dilcher of Indiana University Bloomington and Mikhail S. Romanov of the N.V. Tsitsin Main Botanical Garden in Moscow show that it is closely related to fossil plant specimens from the Lower Cretaceous period.

Their findings suggest the tulip tree line diverged from magnolias more than 100 million years ago and constitutes an independent family, Liriodendraceae, with two living species: one in the Eastern United States and the other in Eastern China. The article, "Fruit structure in Magnoliaceae s.l. and Archaeanthus and their relationships," appears in the most recent issue of the American Journal of Botany.

 

Contributors to this page:

Leroy Jones, Woolwine, VA