Today I stopped to take a look at what was left of the tulip tree fruit.
The fruit, green in the summer and brown in the fall, is a cone-like aggregate of winged seeds (samaras). The samaras fall off (from top to bottom) throughout the winter.
I noticed the buds and was looking at their curious duck-bill shape when I saw that one had popped open on the side.
I helped it along and inside I saw a perfectly shaped miniature leaf folded in half neatly along the midrib. Other buds had started to open as well.
Here's a photo of a mature leaf from last summer (this leaf is two-lobed but leaves can also have four lobes),
and a tulip tree leafed out.
The bark is deeply furrowed on mature trees.
The tulip tree is one of the tallest species in the cemetery, known to reach a height of 190 feet.
Liriodendron tulipifera is sometimes called yellow poplar although it's not related to poplars. It's actually in the Magnolia family.