Virginia Tech Dendrology

yellow willow Salicaceae Salix lutea Nutt. Listen to the Latin symbol: SALU2
Leaf: Alternate, simple, lanceolate to narrowly ovate, 2 to 3 1/2 inches long, finely serrated, initially quite hairy but later mostly smooth, green above and paler below.
Flower: Species is dioecious; fuzzy, yellowish white catkins, 1/2 to 2 inches long; appearing in the spring with the leaves.
Fruit: Small, cone-shaped capsules, in a tight narrow cluster, each capsule containing many cottony seeds, split open when mature in late summer.
Twig: Slender, yellow- green to yellow- brown; buds are small, appressed and orange brown in color.
Bark: Relatively smooth but largest stems may have very shallow fissures, gray-brown.
Form: Most typically a small shrub forming dense thickets, occasionally a small tree to 20 feet.
Looks like: Lemmon's willow
leaf flower bark form1 map
Additional Range Information: Salix lutea is native to North America. Range may be expanded by planting. See states reporting yellow willow.
External Links: USDAFS Additional Silvics - 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