white willow Salicaceae Salix
alba L. symbol: SAAL2
Leaf: Alternate, simple, lanceolate to narrow ovate, 2 to 4 inches long, finely serrated, shiny green above, nearly white and silky below.
Flower: Species is dioecious; males and females appear as upright, yellowish, fuzzy catkins, 1 1/2 to 2 inches long, appearing before or with the leaves.
Fruit: A 1 to 2 inch long cluster of valve-like, light brown capsules, containing many fine, cottony seeds, ripen in late spring to early summer.
Twig: Very slender, smooth or slightly downy, yellowish brown (golden), flexible; buds are small, appressed and covered by a single, cap-like scale. Terminal buds lacking.
Bark: Grayish brown and irregularly furrowed, into rough narrow ridges.
Form: An upright tree capable of reaching 80 feet tall, with a wide spreading crown. Trunk often splits low to the ground.
Looks like: black willow - Goodding's willow - arroyo willow - weeping willow
Additional Range Information: Salix alba is planted in the USDA hardiness zones shown above and may seed into the landscape. See states reporting white willow.
External Links: USDA Plants Database
All material © 2017 Virginia Tech Dept. of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation; Photos and text by: John Seiler, Edward Jensen, Alex Niemiera, and John Peterson