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Fremont Cottonwood

Scientific Name:

Populus fremontii






American Southwest and Mexico


No listed status

This species is


to the Truckee Meadows.


Fremont cottonwoods have seeds that resemble cotton puffs; the seeds are from where cottonwoods get their name. Cottonwood seeds resemble fallen snow when released. Fremont cottonwood leaves are heart-shaped or triangular with rounded teeth along the edges. These trees can grow between 70 and 90 feet tall.

Fast Facts:

  • The bark and leaves of Fremont cottonwoods were used as a poultice (crushed up and applied to skin) to relieve swelling, cuts, and even headaches by many indigenous people groups.

  • Fremont cottonwoods are named after John C. Fremont who first recorded this tree in 1844 with Kit Carson while near Pyramid Lake.

  • The inner bark of the Fremont Cottonwood is edible to horses.

  • Cottonwoods have soft bark which make them attractive habitats for wildlife; however, they can break easily in storms which is a hazard in many park areas.

  • Fremont recognized that the sight of cottonwoods marked the locations of water and saw cottonwoods as a valuable resource for fodder (livestock food), fuel, and shade.

  • Fremont Cottonwoods, like Black Cottonwoods, are very important to wildlife providing shelter and homes in the riparian area along the river, and also aid in preventing erosion.

  • In the Paiute language, cottonwoods are called Sungabe.



Haley McGuire (research & content)

Alex Shahbazi (edits & page design)

Last Updated:

April 20, 2021 at 11:12:05 PM

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