The Black cottonwoods are sending out seed this time of year. It is clear where the name comes from, the seeds are enveloped in a fine cotton-like fibre.
Large isolated cottonwoods in the swamp
Populus trichocarpa (black cottonwood; also known as western balsam poplar or California poplar) is a deciduous broadleaf tree species native to western North America. It is used for timber, and is notable as a model organism in plant biology. Its full genome sequence was published in 2006. It is the first tree species to be sequenced.