The tulip-tree has considerable aesthetic appeal, and is therefore prized as an ornamental. It has a showy, greenish-yellow flower that is tulip-shaped, hence its name. Bees appreciate this tree for its nectar.
The tulip-tree's leaf is also somewhat special. The leaf has lobes and a notch at the tip, making it appear cut off at the top.
Every year, it produces a good seed crop, a source of food for a number of birds and small mammals.
The tulip-tree prefers deep, rich, moist soils along streams or around swampy areas. It does not tolerate dry, acid soils.
It is a fast-growing tree that is intolerant of shade. It can attain 116 feet (35 metres) in height and live for 150 years. It is generally free of pests and disease, which promotes its growth.
The tulip-tree mixes easily with other broadleaf trees, and is rarely found in pure stands. It occurs in the eastern part of North America, from the Great Lakes south to Florida.
Medicinal substances such as cinchona substitute are extracted from the bark.
Its wood is light yellow and is easily worked. Northern Indians used it in canoe-making, and today it is used in naval construction and cabinetmaking. However, it is mostly appreciated in parks for its majestic beauty.
Leaves, alternate, simple, tulip-like, with pointed lobes.
Flowers, yellow, about 2 inches (5 cm) in diameter.