Herb: Himalayan Poplar

Latin name: Populus ciliata

Family: Salicaceae (Willow Family)

Medicinal use of Himalayan Poplar:

The bark is a blood purifier and tonic stimulant. A paste of the bark, mixed with the ash of cow dung, is used as a poultice to treat muscular swellings. Although no specific mention has been seen for this species, the bark of most, if not all members of the genus contain salicin, a glycoside that probably decomposes into salicylic acid (aspirin) in the body. The bark is therefore anodyne, anti-inflammatory and febrifuge. It is used especially in treating rheumatism and fevers, and also to relieve the pain of menstrual cramps.

Description of the plant:


20 m
(66 feet)

Habitat of the herb:

Mixed forests with oak, deodar and pine, 1200 - 3000 metres. Secondary forests and by streams, usually on light soils.

Other uses of Himalayan Poplar:

An extract of the shoots can be used as a rooting hormone for all types of cuttings. It is extracted by soaking the chopped up shoots in cold water for a day. Wood - soft, rather woolly in texture, without smell or taste, of low flammability, not durable, very resistant to abrasion. Used for planking, matches, water troughs etc. Used for timber for construction and making furniture.

Propagation of the herb:

Seed - must be sown as soon as it is ripe in spring. Poplar seed has an extremely short period of viability and needs to be sown within a few days of ripening. Surface sow or just lightly cover the seed in trays in a cold frame. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and grow them on in the old frame. If sufficient growth is made, it might be possible to plant them out in late summer into their permanent positions, otherwise keep them in the cold frame until the following late spring and then plant them out. Most poplar species hybridize freely with each other, so the seed may not come true unless it is collected from the wild in areas with no other poplar species growing. Cuttings of mature wood of the current season's growth, 20 - 40cm long, November/December in a sheltered outdoor bed or direct into their permanent positions. Very easy. Suckers in early spring.

Cultivation of Himalayan Poplar:

Mixed forests with oak, deodar and pine, 1200 - 3000 metres. Secondary forests and by streams, usually on light soils.

Known hazards of Populus ciliata:

None known

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.