2. Populus alba Linnaeus, Sp. Pl. 1034. 1753; Boiss. Fl. Or. 4: 1193. 1879; Hook.f., Fl. Brit. Ind. 5: 638. 1888; R. Parker, For. Fl. Punj. ed. 3: 509. 1956; Kom., Fl. USSR. 5: 225. 1936; English tranl. 1970; Meikle, l.c. 1490; F. Zhenfu, Z. Shidong & A.K.Skvortsov, l.c. 143.(Fig.10, A-H).
Populus caspica Bornm. in Fedde Repert. 47: 70. t. 283. 1939; A. Neumann in Rech.f., Fl. Iran. 65: 10. 1969; R.R. Stewart, Ann. Cat. Vasc. Pl. W. Pak. Kashm. 180. 1972.
Medium to large tree, bark whitish to greyish on young branches smooth, rough on old stems. Dense soft cottony tomentum on young shoots. Petiole 2.5-5.5 cm long, covered by cottony tomentum; lamina 5-10.5 cm long, ovate, with obtuse sinuate lobes or 3-5 lobed, usually broader than long, base 3-5 nerved, acute, cottony on the upper surface when young, cottony tomentose on the lower surface. Male catkin 5-10.5 cm long. Male flower: Bract oblanceolate, hairy, tip slightly toothed; disk small; stamens 5-10. Female catkin 3-5 cm. Bract oblanceolate, hairy, tip slightly toothed, disk cup-shaped, crenulate. Stigmas 2, cleft almost to the base into 4 linear lobes. Capsule 5-6.5 mm long, shortly pedicellate, bivaled, smooth.
Fl. Per.: May-July.
Type: Described from temperate Europe, Herb. Linn. 1185/1 (LINN).
Distribution: Europe, N. Africa, South West and Western Central Asia including Kashmir and Pakistan (N.W.F. Province, Murree, Baluchistan).
According to A. Nauman (l.c.) P. alba L. is confined to Europe, N. Africa and Anatolia and does not extend to Caucasus, Transcaucasia, Persia, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Central Asia, a region where it is replaced by P. caspica Bornm. However, this interpretation has not been accepted by subsequent workers (Meikle, Fl. Cyprus 2: 1491. 1985; Czerepanov, Vasc. Pl. Russia Adj. States (former USSR), 1995 and A. K. Skvortsov, personal communication).
This species is widely cultivated and produces suckers in abundance. It is a handsome road-side tree in Hazara etc.