Arctic willow Salicaceae Salix
arctica Pall. symbol: SAAR27
Leaf: Alternate, simple, deciduous, ovate to nearly round, to 2 inches long, edges entire and may be long ciliate; hairy or shiny green on top, lower surface long-hairy or glaucous with long hairs near the tip; stipules mostly absent.
Flower: Species is dioecious; showy yellow (males) or purple (female) catkins stand upright from the branch tips; up to 4 inches long; flowers lack petals; appearing with the new leaves.
Fruit: Small, silky, wind-dispersed seeds from tear-shaped capsules, develop and shed early in the growing season.
Twig: Yellow-brown to red-brown and glaucous.
Bark: Yellow-brown to red-brown and glaucous, weathering to gray.
Form: A small creeping and twisted shrub, commonly less than 6 inches tall but may reach 2 feet; mat forming, often rooting at the branch tips.
Additional Range Information: Salix arctica is native to North America. Range may be expanded by planting. Download the full-size PDF map.
More Information: Fall Color
External Links: USDA Plants Database
All material © 2019 Virginia Tech Dept. of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation; Photos and text by: John Seiler, Edward Jensen, Alex Niemiera, and John Peterson; Silvics reprinted from Ag Handbook 654; range map source information