Just behind the iron fence northwest of Furman Hall is the largest tuliptree in the arboretum. It has a diameter of 118 cm (46 in.), height of 26 m (86 ft.), and crown spread of 21 m (69 ft.). When tuliptrees get as large as this one, their deeply ridged and furrowed bark is very distinctive. Another typical feature of tuliptrees is their very straight trunk. This particular tree has a somewhat atypical split trunk, but the other large tuliptree between this spot and Kirland Hall shows the very straight trunk trait better.
Perhaps the most surprising feature of tuliptrees is their colorful flowers
, which form in the late spring. Close examination of the flower shows that it's structure is very similar to magnolias, and tuliptree is actually a member of the Magnoliaceae family. However, its distinctively shaped leaves
look nothing like the typical, oval magnolia leaf shape.