Wednesday, June 29, 2016

The Sandbar Willow - Salix interior

The Sandbar Willow - Salix interior, is most easily identified by it's shrubby, thicket forming growing habit and narrowly linear leaves that are bluish white below.  Sandbar Willow grows as a small tree or large shrub reaching heights of 13-30 feet tall, usually growing in a rounded, dense, shrubby, sprawling fashion with multiple clonal trunks arising from wide spreading surface roots.  Rarely does the Sandbar Willow grow with a single erect trunk.

The leaves are alternate, simple, narrowly linear, with a wedge shaped base.  The upper leaf surface is moderately lustrous and hairy, with a paler lower surface.  The flowers are unisexual, male and female flowers intermixed on the same catkins.  The flowers occur in Spring to Summer, after the new leaves appear.   The fruit is a capsule 4-10 mm long.  

Image Citation:  Richard Webb,

The Sandbar Willow is native with specimens being found growing from 10-1800 m in a triangle shape across the North America.  It can be found as far North as Alaska, British Columbia, Quebec and New Brunswick,  Maine to Virginia in the East,  Louisiana to Texas in the South and Colorado, Washington and back to Alaska in the West.  It is most commonly found along sandbars, sandy or silty floodplains, lake or pond margins, drainage ditches, distrubed sites and sand hills in the Praries.  

Image Citation:   Paul Wray, Iowa State University,

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