Forest 74 - Euphrates poplar

Populus euphratica

Euphrates poplar tree at Kingston Canberra 

Other common names

Indian poplar. Arabic: bahan, bhan, gharab, hodung.

Origin of the species name

Populus is from the Latin name for the poplar; euphratica refers to its occurrence along the west Asian region of the Euphrates River. 



Date planted

August 2011


Trees of this species are very long lived and fossil remains indicate that similar trees were around 60 million years ago. 

Leaves of Euphrates poplar. Photo not from the Arboretum

General description 

This is a medium-sized deciduous tree with rarely a straight stem. The bark on old stems is thick, rough and olive green. The leaves are usually broader than long, but can be variable with some looking very much like eucalypt leaves in size, shape and colour. The flowers are on catkins and the fruit are ovoid capsules. The leaves turn a brilliant yellow or orange yellow in autumn. Height 15m Spread 12m.

Natural distribution and habitat  

The species is native to Turkey, south to Egypt and across central Asia to China where it is found in subtropical, broadleaved, hill forests, wet temperate, moist temperate deciduous forests and dry temperate forests. It also grows on land that is seasonally flooded.

Conservation status

Although the species is not classified as a threatened species, there are populations throughout its distribution that are being seriously affected by its use and other human disturbance. Over half of the remaining global population is in western China.

Planting pattern

Planted in curved lines following the contours.


The leaves are used for fodder for sheep, goats and camels. Its wood is moderately hard and light, is easy to saw and works to a good finish. It is used for planking, lacquer work, plywood, cricket bats, matchboxes and splints. Waste wood is used for fuel. Twigs are chewed and used for cleaning teeth.