Thursday, July 13, 2017
The Purpleosier Willow - Salix purpurea
The Purpleosier Willow - Salix purpurea, is a deciduous clone forming shrub or shrubby tree that reaches heights of 4-20 feet tall. Growing in an erect, upright form or arching, usually with numerous branches and multiple trunks. Originally introduced from Europe, it has been cultivated and is now naturalized in various wetlands throughout much of the Eastern United States as far South as Georgia, west to Minnesota and Iowa and sporadic in the West.
The leaves of the Purpleosier Willow are alternate or opposite, simply shaped, narrowly oblong and often widest around the base of each leaf. The upper leaf surface is dull or slightly lustrous, dark green in color and hairless. The lower leaf surface is bluish-white in color and hairless. Each leaf blade os 2-10 cm long and 1.5- 3 cm broad. The flowers are unisexual, with male and female occuring in catkins on separate plants. Male catkins are 25-33 mm long and 6-10 mm in diameter, while the female are 13-35 mm long and 3-7 mm in diameter. Flower occur each Spring prior to the appearance of the new leaves. The fruit is an egg shaped capsule that ranges in size from 2-5 mm long.
Image Citations (Photos 1-3): Robert Vidéki, Doronicum Kft., Bugwood.org