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Published In: Species Plantarum 2: 1017. 1753. (1 May 1753) (Sp. Pl.) 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: Introduced


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11. Salix purpurea L. (basket willow, purple osier)

Pl. 556 i–k; Map 2583

Plants shrubs or small trees, 1.5–5.0 m tall, usually not suckering but sometimes clonal by stem fragmentation. Trunks with the bark relatively smooth or somewhat roughened, on older trees becoming finely and irregularly furrowed, grayish brown to gray. Branches flexible to somewhat brittle at the base, yellowish brown to olive brown. Branchlets yellowish brown to greenish brown, sometimes reddish- or purplish-tinged, not glabrous. Winter buds blunt at the tip, the scale margins fused. Leaves mostly alternate, but at least some of them opposite to subopposite. Petioles 2–7 mm long, lacking glands, the upper side glabrous. Stipules minute, often appearing absent. Leaf blades 3–8 cm long, mostly 3–9 times as long as wide, narrowly oblong-elliptic to narrowly oblanceolate or oblanceolate, angled or tapered to a sharply pointed tip, rounded or angled at the base, the margins rolled under, finely toothed or occasionally entire or nearly so, the upper surface more or less dull, glaucous, glabrous or sparsely hairy. Catkins flowering before the leaves appear, sessile or on very short flowering branchlets; the bracts 0.8–1.5 mm long, entire, rounded at the tip, dark brown to black, sometimes paler toward the margins and/or base, sparsely and evenly hairy, persistent at fruiting; the staminate catkins 2.5–3.5 cm long; the pistillate catkins 1.5–3.5 cm long. Staminate flowers with 2 stamens, the filaments fused, often to the tip (then only 1 apparent stamen, but with 2 anthers), hairy at the base; nectary 1. Pistillate flowers with the styles fused to the tip, very short, unbranched, the stigmas 2, short and flattened; nectary 1. Fruits 2.5–5.0 mm long, sessile. 2n=38. April–May.

Introduced, uncommon, known thus far only from historical collections in Ralls and St. Louis Counties (native of Europe; introduced widely in the northeastern U.S. west to Minnesota and Missouri, disjunctly in California, Oregon, and Utah; also Canada). Margins of ponds and lakes; also moist disturbed areas.

Steyermark (1963) noted that Salix purpurea was brought to the United States in early colonial times and that its branches have been used in basketry.



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