Cottonwood is a type of Poplar. It is named for the cotton that it produces in the spring and early summer as the seed pods open. In an area with cottonwood trees the cotton can build up to a surprising amount.
The wood from a cottonwood tree is rough and brittle. It rots quickly if left exposed to the elements. However, there are some surprisingly pretty turnings made from cottonwood.
The wood can range from a very light to a medium tan.