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Published In: Flora Boreali-Americana (Michaux) 2: 226. 1803. (Fl. Bor.-Amer.) Name publication detailView in BotanicusView in Biodiversity Heritage Library

Project Name Data (Last Modified On 9/22/2017)
Acceptance : Accepted
Project Data     (Last Modified On 7/9/2009)
Status: Native


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3. Salix caroliniana Michx. (Carolina willow, Ward’s willow)

S. longipes Shuttlew. ex Andersson

S. wardii Bebb

Pl. 555 f, g; Map 2575

Plants shrubs or small to medium trees, 3–10 m tall, clonal by suckers or stem fragmentation. Trunks with the bark variable, shallowly to deeply ridged and furrowed, reddish brown or gray. Branches brittle or occasionally somewhat flexible at the base, reddish brown to grayish brown. Branchlets light brown to dark reddish brown, not glaucous to strongly glaucous, sparsely to densely hairy, becoming glabrous or nearly so with age. Winter buds sharply pointed at the tip, the scale margins free and overlapping along the side facing the stem. Leaves alternate. Petioles 3–22 mm long, with paired glandular dots, clusters of dots, or rarely stalked glands at the tip, the upper side hairy. Stipules usually well-developed, rounded to pointed at the tip. Leaf blades 5–22 cm long, mostly 5–10 times as long as wide, narrowly oblong-elliptic or narrowly lanceolate to lanceolate, tapered to a sharply pointed tip, variously angled to rounded or rarely shallowly cordate at the base, the margins flat, sharply and finely toothed, the upper surface glossy, sparsely and inconspicuously hairy to glabrous, the undersurface glaucous, glabrous or more commonly sparsely hairy along the midvein. Catkins flowering as the leaves appear, on distinct, leafy, flowering branchlets; the bracts 1–3 mm long, entire or slightly uneven, rounded to pointed at the tip, tawny, sparsely and evenly hairy, those of the pistillate catkins not persistent at fruiting; the staminate catkins 3–10 cm long; the pistillate catkins 3–10 cm long. Staminate flowers with 4–7 stamens, the filaments free or fused toward the base, hairy at the base; nectaries 2, free. Pistillate flowers with the styles fused completely or nearly to the tip, the stigmas 2, flattened; nectary 1. Fruits 4–6 mm long, on stalks 1.3–5.3 mm long. April–May.

Scattered nearly throughout the state, except for the Mississippi Lowlands Division and the western portion of the Glaciated Plains (eastern [mostly southeastern] U.S. west to Kansas and Texas; Mexico, Central America, Caribbean Islands). Banks of streams, rivers, and spring branches, fens, and occasionally margins of ponds and lakes.

This relatively common willow mostly occurs in wetlands with some water flow. Glatfelter (1898) reported the uncommon hybrid between S. caroliniana and S. nigra from trees that he studied in the St. Louis area. Some of his suspected hybrids have leaves sparsely glaucous below but show no other signs of potential hybridization. Because the specimens could have lost some of their glaucousness in drying, all were redetermined as S. caroliniana (Argus 1986, 2010). Glatfelter also reported the hybrid between S. amygdaloides and S. caroliniana; but this could not be confirmed (Argus, 1986). Steyermark (1963) discussed hybrids between S. caroliniana and S. eriocephala (as S. rigida), but subsequent research also has not confirmed this report (Argus, 2010).



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