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Definition of ASPEN
: any of several poplars (especially Populus tremula of Europe and P. tremuloides and P. grandidentata of North America) with leaves that flutter in the lightest wind because of their flattened petioles
Middle English, of an aspen, from asp aspen, from Old English æspe; akin to Old High German aspa aspen, Russian osina
First Known Use: 1593
Any of three tree species of the genus Populus, of the willow family: P. tremula (the common European aspen), P. tremuloides (the American quaking, or trembling, aspen), and P. grandidentata (the American big-tooth aspen). Native to the Northern Hemisphere, aspens are known for the fluttering of their leaves in the slightest breeze. Aspens grow farther north and higher up the mountains than other Populus species. All aspens have a smooth, gray-green bark, random branching, rich green leaves that turn brilliant yellow in fall, and catkins that appear before the leaves in spring.