Liriodendron tulipifera L.

Tulip tree

Family: Magnoliaceae
54º 34.934N
5º 56.054W

The tree tag number relates to the black tree-maintenance tags, usually fixed on the trunk, 2 to 3m above ground level.

This fast-growing North American forest tree can reach 165 ft (50m ) – the original Belfast specimen which was growing close to the tropical ravine certainly seemed to be heading that way. Unfortunately this specimen tree had to removed as it was damaging the Tropical Ravine. A replacement tree was planted in 2018 by the retiring curator, Reg Maxwell. It is now thriving but has yet to produce flowers.

Liriodendron is a member of the Magnolia family, one of the most primitive groups of flowering plants. The flowers are tulip-shaped and usually yellow with a tinge of pink. The distinctive leaves look as if their ends have been cut off. The wood is fine-grained, easily worked and was much used in late Victorian times for the structural parts of wardrobes, chests-of drawers, etc. The soft nature of the wood, however, makes it a favourite diet of woodworm.

for further information about the tulip tree see the wikipedia article –

Photos taken in Belfast Botanic Gardens in July 2007. Copyright: Friends of Belfast Botanic Gardens.