There are many forms of Poplar in the UK – this is the Black Poplar which I’m using to illustrate the typical structure of most Poplars. The Black Poplar makes a large tree, and the variety ‘Italica’ is the well known Lombardy Poplar.
Typically the buds are pointed and held close to the twig.
The flowers are in the form of catkins, and quite visible.
The catkins give way to clouds of white ‘cotton wool-like’ seed which, when you come across it on the ground for the first time looks like snow.
And this is the well know ‘tall tree’ that we all know – Populus nigra ‘Italica’ – the Lombardy Poplar. Often used as a ‘wind-break’ in exposed aspects.