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cottonwood (n.)

popular name of some species of poplar in the U.S., 1823, from the tuft at the base of the seeds; see cotton (n.) + wood (n.).

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Definitions of cottonwood from WordNet

cottonwood (n.)
any of several North American trees of the genus Populus having a tuft of cottony hairs on the seed;
cottonwood (n.)
American basswood of the Allegheny region;
Synonyms: white basswood / Tilia heterophylla
From wordnet.princeton.edu