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Salix planifolia
Salix planifolia
Salix planifolia (Plane-leaf Willow)
Salicaceae (Willow Family)

Montane to sub-alpine. Wetlands, openings. Summer.
Above: Lake Hope Trail, August 11, 2014.
Left: Columbus Basin, La Plata Mountains, June 22, 2010.

Salix planifolia is typically about four or five feet tall but can grow from two-to-twelve feet tall. Older stems are gray; younger are purple/black.  The plant often occurs in large colonies in wetlands in the high mountains to timber line.

Salix planifolia was named and described by Frederick Pursh in 1814 from specimens collected in Labrador.

"Planifolia" is Latin for "plane leaf".

Salix planifolia

Salix planifolia

Salix planifolia (Plane-leaf Willow)
Salicaceae (Willow Family)

Montane to sub-alpine. Wetlands, openings. Summer.
Columbus Basin, La Plata Mountains, June 22, 2010, and Lake Hope Trail, August 11, 2014.

Salix planifoliaSalix planifoliaSalix planifoliaSalix planifoliaSalix planifoliaSalix planifoliaSalix planifolia

Salix planifolia

Salix planifolia

Salix planifolia (Plane-leaf Willow)
Salicaceae (Willow Family)

Montane to sub-alpine. Wetlands, openings. Summer.
Columbus Basin, La Plata Mountains, June 22, 2010; and Lake Hope Trail, August 11, 2014.

Willows are dioecious, i.e., male flowers (top photograph at left) appear on one shrub and female flowers (bottom photograph at left) on another.  Each of the flower clusters (called the "catkin" or the "ament") is about 3/4 of an inch long for the males and about twice that for the females.

The photograph of the male flowers shows the stamens topped by anther sacs; the photograph of the female flowers shows the numerous light green seed capsules with a thin red projection -- the style tipped with a sticky stigma.Salix planifolia

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The seed capsules eventually explode with a fluff that carries the seeds on the winds of late summer and autumn.

Salix planifolia

Salix planifolia (Plane-leaf Willow)
Salicaceae (Willow Family)

Montane to sub-alpine. Wetlands, openings. Summer.
Columbus Basin, La Plata Mountains, June 22, 2010.

Leaves are glabrous and dark green above and glabrous-to-lightly hairy and lighter green below. The shiny green upper surface often sets Salix planifolia apart from neighboring Willows, such as its common companion, Salix brachycarpa.  Click to see the two growing together.

Notice also, of course, the prominent leaf veins.

Range map © John Kartesz,
Floristic Synthesis of North America

State Color Key

Species present in state and native
Species present in state and exotic
Species not present in state

County Color Key

Species present and not rare
Species present and rare
Species extirpated (historic)
Species extinct
Species noxious
Species exotic and present
Native species, but adventive in state
Eradicated
Questionable presence

Salix planifolia

Range map for Salix planifolia