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Tea-leaved Willow

Salix phylicifolia

  • Family: Willow Family – Salicaceae
  • Growing form and height: Shrub. (0.5–)2–3 m (1.5–10 ft.).
  • Flower: Male and female flowers on separate plants. Inflorescence a stalkless or short-stalked, fairly short, dense-flowered, erect catkin. Individual flowers in axils of catkin scales, small, lacking perianth. Catkin scales with rounded tip, dark at least near the tip, long-hairy. Stamens 2, filaments hairless, anthers yellow. Pistil formed from 2 fused carpels, ovary hairy.
  • Leaves: Alternate. Stalked, usu. lacking stipules. Blade entire, 3–8 cm (1.2–3.2 in.) long, obovate to elliptic, with entire or only shallowly toothed margins, hairless or slightly hairy when young, glossy deep green above, bluish beneath. Vein pairs 8–12.
  • Buds: Brown, sharp-pointed, usu. hairless.
  • Fruit: Narrowish, sparsely-hairy capsule containing many plumed seeds.
  • Habitat: Shores, swamps, ditches, roadsides, abandoned fields and meadows.
  • Flowering time: April–May. Flowers before coming into leaf.

Willows are insect-pollinated, sympodially growing, dioecious trees, shrubs, or dwarf shrubs. Their buds have a single protective scale, and their leaves are entire and usually stipulate. Inflorescence is a catkin which falls off in one piece.

Tea-leaved willow is typically a species of the northern coniferous forest zone. It is without a doubt the most common willow species in Finland. It grows on a great variety of sites. Tea-leaved willow has long, brown or reddish, glossy shoots. It flowers in the spring before coming into leaf. Hybrids between willow species are common. Tea-leaved willow crossbreeds quite commonly with gray willow (S. glauca), grey willow (S. cinerea), dark-leaved willow (S. myrsinifolia), eared willow (S. aurita) and goat willow (S. caprea).

Other species from the same genus
Other species from the same family

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