Tuliptree has buttery yellow cup-shaped flowers with yellow eyes and orange centers held atop the branches from mid to late spring. It has emerald green deciduous foliage. The square leaves turn an outstanding gold in the fall. The furrowed gray bark is extremely showy and adds significant winter interest.
Tuliptree is a dense deciduous tree with a strong central leader and a distinctive and refined pyramidal form. Its average texture blends into the landscape, but can be balanced by one or two finer or coarser trees or shrubs for an effective composition.
Tuliptree will grow to be about 50 feet tall at maturity, with a spread of 25 feet. It has a high canopy with a typical clearance of 6 feet from the ground, and should not be planted underneath power lines. As it matures, the lower branches of this tree can be strategically removed to create a high enough canopy to support unobstructed human traffic underneath. It grows at a fast rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for 90 years or more.
This tree should only be grown in full sunlight. It prefers to grow in average to moist conditions, and shouldn't be allowed to dry out. It is not particular as to soil pH, but grows best in rich soils. It is quite intolerant of urban pollution, therefore inner city or urban streetside plantings are best avoided. This species is native to parts of North America.