Populus alba. WHITE POPLAR. Europe, Western Asia
SALICACEAE (Willow family)
Named for its smooth white bark, white poplar is a favorite street tree in Italy. It is distinguished by its large palmate leaves with some blunt teeth. The soft wood is used for making match sticks. The botanical name Populus alba is taken directly from the Roman name for the tree. The word 'populus' also means 'people' and is said to be of Etruscan origin. If so, 'people' and our letter F are among the very few traces of Etruscan times found in modern English.
See the attractive group at 1100 Welch Road; others are near the intersection of Gerona Road and Mirada Avenue. One grows on the south side of Bowdoin Street opposite the Stanford Campus Recreation Association in company with a P. fremontii.
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