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Stories of Kansas and the Great Plains
Cottonwood Trees in Kansas
The cottonwood is the state tree of Kansas -- and also of Nebraska.  This member of the poplar family grows to tremendous size and is found often along the river and creek bottomland in Kansas.  In those areas, the trees often grow in groves or clumps.  The individual trees that are found by the roadside or on farm land are often stately trees that are very old.   Cottonwood trees were brought west by settlers and flourish here.  We found few good photos of cottonwoods elsewhere on the internet, but we did find a few good information links.  See below.

These photos are of a trees on Hunter's Island south of Manhattan, Kansas, a rural area bounded by the Kansas River and Wildcat Creek, and at Cico Park in Manhattan, Kansas.   

Photos copyright Jerri Garretson.  For rights to reproduce and costs, send email to: Jerri Garretson 

Photo of Cottonwood tree Photo of cottonwood trees in Kansas

An old, stately cottonwood tree
cottonwood leaves Photo of cottonwood leaves
Cottonwood leaves
Cottonwood seeds     cottonwood seeds
Cottonwood seeds that have not yet opened.
cottonwood seeds and fluff     cottonwood fluff in the grass
Once the seeds open, the fluffy "cotton" emerges in great tufts and flies through the air.
Cottonwood leaves
Cottonwood fluff photo

Cottonwood tree "cotton."

This is why they are called cottonwod trees.

The white fluff that carries the cottonwood seeds blows through the Kansas air on the wind in May and June. 

Cottonwood (fact page)     |     Cottonwood Tree Coloring Page     |   Our State Tree - Nebraska Cottonwood

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July 26, 2006