Sitka willow Salicaceae Salix
sitchensis Sanson ex Bong. symbol: SASI2
Leaf: Alternate, simple, deciduous, obovate to oblanceolate, widest above the midpoint and tapering to a narrow base, 1 1/2 to 3 inches long, edges smooth or with tiny gladular teeth, petioles are short and velvety with half-oval stipules that fall off early in the growing season on slow-growing twigs but remain throughout the growing season on rapidly growing twigs; shiny green on top, with silky, flattened hairs underneath; underside is noted for a satiny sheen.
Flower: Species is dioecious; cream to yellow colored catkins that stand upright from the branches; up to 2 to 3 inches long, appearing either slightly before or with the new leaves in early spring.
Fruit: Small, silky, wind-dispersed seeds from tear-shaped capsules, develop and shed early in the growing season.
Twig: Pubescent and yellow-green when young, but turning hairless and reddish brown with age; brittle at the base.
Bark: Gray and smooth or slightly furrowed and scaly.
Form: A large shrub or small tree, 3 to 25 tall and up to 12 inches in stem diameter.
Looks like: Scouler willow - pussy willow - Bebb's willow - MacKenzie's willow
Additional Range Information: Salix sitchensis is native to North America. Range may be expanded by planting. Download the full-size PDF map.
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