black willow Salicaceae Salix nigra Marsh. Listen to the Latin symbol: SANI Other Fact Sheets
Leaf: Alternate, simple, pinnately veined, lanceolate in shape, 3 to 6 inches long, with a finely serrate margin. Leaves are dark and shiny above, light green below.
Flower: Species is dioecious; flowers are tiny, green, borne on catkins, 1 to 3 inches long, early summer.
Fruit: Cone-shaped capsules that contain many small, cottony seeds, borne on catkins; capsules split at maturity, mid summer.
Twig: Slender, orange-brown in color, with a bitter aspirin taste; buds are small and appressed, covered by one bud scale, the terminal bud absent; stipules/scars are obvious.
Bark: Brown to gray-black, with thick, somewhat scaly ridges and deep furrows.
Form: A small to medium sized tree that can develop a massive trunk with a spreading, irregular crown. Black willows are often affected by crown gall, and witches brooms and trunk sprouting are common.

Looks like: white willow - sandbar willow - weeping willow - Goodding's willow
leaf flower fruit twig bark form1 map
Additional Range Information:
Salix nigra is native to North America.
Range may be expanded by planting.
See states reporting black willow.
More: Fall Color Wood
External Links:
USDAFS Silvics of North America
USDAFS Additional Silvics
Landowner Factsheet
USDA Plants Database
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Dept. of Forest Resources
and Environmental Conservation,
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Photos and text by: John Seiler,
Edward Jensen, Alex Niemiera,
and John Peterson
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