USGS - science for a changing world

Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center

  Home About NPWRC Our Science Staff Employment Contacts Common Questions About the Site

Aquatic and Wetland Vascular Plants of the Northern Great Plains

21. Salicaceae, the Willow Family

2. Salix L. -- Willow

3. Salix bebbiana Sarg. -- Beaked willow

Shrub to 4 m tall; twigs grayish-brown, closely pubescent to eventually glabrous, gnarled and rough in appearance owing to jutting leaf scars, irregular growth and die back; branchlets spreading, yellowish-brown to dark brown, tomentulose, occasionally glabrate toward the base. Leaves dull grayish-green and glabrous to pubescent above, pale to gray-pubescent and rugose beneath, with the veins raised prominently on the lower surface (except smooth beneath in var. perrostrata), elliptic to narrowly ovate or narrowly obovate, acute to short-acuminate, cuneate at the base, mostly 3-6 cm long, 1-3 cm wide, entire to shallowly toothed; petioles glandless, 5-10(15) mm long; stipules deciduous or persistent on vigorous shoots, ovate to reniform, 2-6 mm long, 1-3 mm wide, shallowly dentate. Catkins emerging and maturing with the leaves; female catkins persistent for some time after capsule dehiscence, 2-5 cm long, on short leafy branchlets 0.5-2 cm long, with 2-4 small leaves; bracts persistent, pale with a reddish or darkened tip when young, yellowish to brown with age, villous; stamens 2. Capsules ovoid-conic, 5-8 mm long, finely pubescent; stipes 2-5 mm long. Flowering late Apr--May, fruiting late May--Jun. Wet meadows, stream banks, moist wooded ravines and hillsides, marsh borders and seepage areas; ND, e MT, e and w SD, e WY and w NE, most common in the n part; (Newf. to AK, s to MD, OH, IL, IA, NE, AZ, NM and CA).

Some plants in this region are var. perrostrata (Rydb.) Schneid., differing from the typical in having leaves thinner, more often glabrous, more entire-margined, and smooth, not rugose, beneath. This variety seems more characteristic of drier woodland habitats.

Salix scouleriana Barr., western pussy willow, is a similar species that occurs on moist slopes at higher elevations in the Black Hills. It differs from S. bebbiana in having the leaves arranged in a fanlike fashion at the tips of the branchlets. Also, the leaves have some reddish-brown hairs mixed with silvery ones on one or both surfaces.

GIF- Distribution Map

Map key

Previous Species -- Salix amygdaloides Anderss. -- Peachleaf willow
Return to Family -- Salicaceae - The Willow Family
Next Species -- Salix candida Fluegee -- Sage-leaved willow, hoary willow

Accessibility FOIA Privacy Policies and Notices

Take Pride in America logo logo U.S. Department of the Interior | U.S. Geological Survey
Page Contact Information: Webmaster
Page Last Modified: Saturday, 02-Feb-2013 06:46:52 EST
Sioux Falls, SD [sdww55]