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Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Magnoliales
Family: Magnoliaceae
Genus: Liriodendron
Species: tulipifera
Binomial name
Liriodendron tulipifera
The tuliptree magnolia is also called the tulip poplar or yellow poplar, though it is neither a tulip nor a poplar. It is easily recognized by its fruit, which is a cone-like aggregate of samaras, each of which has a roughly tetrahedral seed with one edge attached to the central conical spike and the other edge attached to the wing. The leaves look vaguely like those of the sycamore. The flowers have three sepals and three petals, which are similar enough to be called tepals, as are those of the tulip. The stamens and pistils are arranged spirally around the spike; the stamens fall off, and the pistils become the samaras.

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