Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
WILLOW FAMILY (Salicaceae)
IND. STATUS: FACW+
FIELD CHARACTERISTICS: An erect, deciduous shrub or small tree, usually 2-6 m. high, with one to a few stems. The alternate leaves are elliptic to obovate, subentire to crenate, and conspicuously rugose-reticulate veined. An abruptly acute leaf apex (beak) is present. The leaf blades are usually less than 2.8 times as long as wide and may be pubescent above, but glaucous underneath. Small, less than 2 mm. long, deciduous stipules may be present. Twigs are slender and brownish in color. The pistillate catkins are 2-7 cm. long while the staminate catkins are small and subsessile. The fruit is pubescent. Beaked willow is usually in flower from March to early June.
ECOLOGICAL NOTES: Beaked willow, also known as Bebb's willow, occurs in a wide variety of wetland habitats, but it is most often seen in sedge meadows, shrub-carrs, fresh (wet) meadows, fens, and along wet forest edges. Swink and Wilhelm (1994) state that this willow is frequent in shrub zones "...where there has been disturbance." The authors have also observed it in fairly pristine sites.
SOURCE: Fassett (1976); Gleason and Cronquist (1991); and Swink and Wilhelm (1994).