The magnificent tulip poplar is one of the tallest trees in eastern forests, usually growing over 100 feet high. It is considered by some to be an urban tree, since it is popular as a shade tree in many residential neighborhoods throughout Illinois. Due to its rapid growth and exceptional size, the tulip poplar is also planted in reforestation projects.
The tulip poplar has a pleasing pyramidal shape and lives up to its name by producing many tulip shaped orange and greenish-yellow flowers which bloom from April to June.
The flowers of the tulip poplar are very popular with honey bees, since a single tulip poplar flower has enough nectar to fill a bee’s honey stomach. (Most other types of flowers require a honey bee to visit as many as 100 blooms to fill her stomach with nectar.) We have several strong hives located in Urbana IL around the corner from the tulip popular pictured here, and every year we expect a good harvest of tulip poplar honey.
The honey from tulip poplar flowers is a dark honey, amber in color with a rich, complex flavor. Honey has lots of health benefits, and research suggests that dark honey like tulip poplar is particularly high in antioxidants.