Populus heterophylla is a colonial tree, with many similar sized stems close together, bark deeply furrowed, gray-brown.
Leaves broadly egg-shaped, large, about 18 cm long, tip blunt, base lobed, margin toothed, petiole only slightly flattened near top.
Flowers sexes on separate individuals (dioecious) catkins.
Fruits dry, oval, about 1 cm long.in cottony fibers.
Wetland status: FACW+.
Frequency in New York City: Rare (NYS S1, T). A colony of one individual.
Habitat: Open margins of swamp forest or marsh edges, soil pH 4.6-5.9 (USDA, NRCS 2010). Intolerant of shade.