1. Populus afghanica (Aitch. & Hemsl.) C. K. Schneider in Sarg., Pl. Wilson. 3: 36. 1917; A. Neumann in Rech.f., Fl. Iran. 65: 6. 1969; R.R. Stewart, Ann. Cat. Vasc. Pl. W. Pak. Kashm. 180. 1972; F. Zhenfu, Z.Shidong & A.K. Skvortsov in Wu Zheng-yi & P.H. Raven, Fl. China 4: 161. 1998.
P. nigra L. var. afghanica Aitch. & Hemsl. in J. Linn. Soc. Bot. 18: 96. 1880.
Tree up to 30 m tall, all parts glabrous, terminal branches ascending, slender. Trunk and main branches covered with conspicuous white bark. Buds small, ovoid. Petiole (1.5)-2-7 cm long. Lamina ovate or obovate at base of branchlet to orbicular-ovate to deltoid-orbicular near apex, 2-3 x 3 cm near base to 6-7 x 5-7.5 cm at apex, base rounded or cuneate, shallowly serrate to almost entire margins, tip acuminate, prominently and finely reticulate-veined on both sides. Catkins appearing with leaves, male catkin c. 4 cm; female catkin 5-7 cm, elongated in fruit, axis glabrous to pubescent. Pedicel 1.5-2 mm. Bracts ovate, fimbriate, glabrous. Perianth of the female flower cupuliform. Ovary bicarpellate, ovate, glabrous. Stigmas 2, sessile, broad, obcordate. Capsule 5-6 mm, 2-valved.
Fl. Per.: April-May.
Type: Kurram valley, Hariab district, common, cultivated and apparently wild also; quite wild and cultivated in the vicinity of Shalizan but only at one shrine, 19 May 1879, J.E.T. Aitchison 161 (K).
Distribution: Pakistan (Kurram, S. Waziristan, Quetta, Kalat); Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Kirgyzstan, Kazakistan, N. Africa and eastern Mediterranean region (Meikle, Fl. Cyprus 2: 1490. 1985).
Meikle (l.c.) has treated this taxon as a variety of P. nigra L. It is widely cultivated as an ornamental tree.