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Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center

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Wetland Plants and Plant Communities of Minnesota and Wisconsin


(Salix nigra Marsh.)

Black willow

WILLOW FAMILY (Salicaceae)


FIELD CHARACTERISTICS: A deciduous shrub or tree growing to a height of 20 m. or more; frequently with several trunks. Trunks are often leaning or horizontal to the water or ground surface. Leaves are alternate, narrowly lanceolate, 6-10(12) cm. long and serrulate. The upper side of the leaf is darker green than the lower. The bark of mature trees is flaky, heavily ridged and dark brown to black. The catkins, 2.5-7 cm. long, are borne among new leaves from April to June.

ECOLOGICAL NOTES: A common willow of floodplain forests; it is also found along streambanks, ditches, and berms.

SOURCE: Brockman (1979); Fernald (1970); and Gleason and Cronquist (1991).

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