Populus fremontii

Fremont Cottonwood - Populus fremontii
Percha Box
East of Hillsboro
New Mexico, USA

Fremont’s Cottonwood (also simply Fremont Cottonwood) grows in our neighborhood, typically below 7,000’ along (and in) stream beds.  It is a western species with a native range restricted to the southwestern United States (including California and west Texas) and northern Mexico (range map courtesy of the USDA Forest Service).  Historically the indigenous people of the southwest used the cottonwood to make baskets, tools, musical instruments and as fuel and food (the inner bark has a significant amount of vitamin C ).  

The Fremont’s Cottonwood was first described by Sereno Watson and named to honor John Fremont.  Watson was curator at Harvard’s Gray Herbarium and a member of several expeditions to Guatemala, Utah, Nevada, and Montana.  Several plant species are named in his honor including Watson Brickell Bush and Watson Snakeroot.

© Robert Barnes 2018-2023