Scouler's  Willow

Salix scouleriana

 
Family:
Willow (Salicaceae)
Leaves:
Leaves variable in shape, deciduous; mostly elliptical to oval, fan-like; smooth or toothed edges; 2-5” long, ½ – 1 ½” wide; dark green above and whitish with gray hairs below
Flowers:
Catkins, 1-2” long; stout, stalkless with black, long-haired scales; abundant in early spring before leaves appear
Blooms:
Fruit is 3/8” long, narrow, light brown capsule; maturing in early summer
Bark:
Young twigs are yellow to reddish brown with reddish buds; older bark gray, smooth, thin; becoming brown and fissured with age
Habitat:
Riparian (along stream beds and other moist areas) in coniferous forests under larger trees; ranges to high altitudes; along Long Valley Creek, esp. by Ranger Station
Comments:
Large, multi-branched shrub; height 15’-50’, diameter, 1 ½’; sometimes called Fire willow because it rapidly occupies burned areas; an important browse plant for deer, moose and elk
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