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Key to families | Table of families and genera

Previous taxon Indexes to all accepted names and synonyms:
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John O. Sawyer, Jr., except as noted

Shrub, tree; dioecious (monoecious). Stem: trunk < 40 m; wood soft; bark smooth, bitter; buds scaly. Leaf: simple, alternate, deciduous; stipules generally present, deciduous or not, often large. Inflorescence: catkin [or various, or flowers 1]; each flower subtended by 1 bract. Flower: perianth modified into non-nectariferous, cup- or saucer-shaped structure or reduced to adaxial nectary (rarely also with abaxial nectary, then free or fused into shallow cup). Staminate flower: stamens 2–many. Pistillate flower: pistil 1, ovary superior to 1/2-inferior, chambers generally 2–4, placentas parietal, stigma lobes 2–4. Fruit: berry, drupe, or 2–4-valved capsule. Seed: often with basal tuft of hairs.
58 genera, 1210 species: widespread in tropics, northern temperate, arctic. Now including many genera (e.g., Flacourtia, Idesia, Xylosma) formerly in Flacourtiaceae, at least in part because of presence on leaf margins in both families of salicoid teeth (vein extending to tooth tip). In California (and generally outside California), Populus pollinated by wind, Salix by insects, wind. Hybrids common; identification often difficult. —Scientific Editor: Thomas J. Rosatti.

Key to Salicaceae


George W. Argus

Shrub, tree; dioecious; bud scale 1, not sticky, margins generally fused (or free, overlapping). Stem: twigs generally flexible, generally not glaucous. Leaf: generally alternate; stipules generally vestigial on first leaves, leaf-like on later; mature blade linear to broadly obovate, entire to toothed, generally ± hairy; petiole glands generally 0. Inflorescence: catkin, blooming before, with, or after leaves, sessile or terminating ± short leafy or bracted shoot ("on leafy shoot" or "on bracted shoot," "catkin length" including leafless or bractless part of subtending shoot); 1 flower bract subtending each flower, deciduous or persistent, brown, black, or 2-colored (paler proximally, darker distally; darker generally ± brown). Flower: perianth reduced to adaxial nectary (rarely also with abaxial nectary, then free or fused into shallow cup). Staminate flower: stamens (1)2(10); nectary generally 1. Pistillate flower: ovary stalked or sessile, style generally 1, stigmas 2, each 2-lobed, deciduous or persistent; nectary generally 1, generally rod-like. Fruit: valves 2.
± 450 species: ± worldwide, especially northern temperate, arctic. (Latin: ancient name) [Argus 1997 Madroño 44:115–136] Difficult, highly variable, many hybrids. Not all specimens key easily; sprouts, other extreme forms not included in keys, may require field comparisons. Studies of chromosome numbers, hybridization needed. Inclusion of Salix sessilifolia Nutt. in TJM (1993) based on misidentification of plants belonging to Salix melanopsis. Fruit length as given throughout excludes the stalk (stipe). Hair lengths: minute, < ± 0.5 mm; short, ± 0.5 mm; long, > ± 0.5 mm. Salix commutata Bebb, treated as misapplied to Salix eastwoodiae in TJM (1993), may occur in northern California mountains; Salix bonplandiana expected in s-most California. For alternate treatments, see Dorn (e.g., 2000 Brittonia 52:1–19).
Unabridged references: [Dorn, R. D. 1995. A taxonomic study of Salix section Cordatae subsection Luteae (Salicaceae). Brittonia 47: 160–174. Dorn, R. D. 1998. A taxonomic study of Salix section Longifoliae (Salicaceae) Brittonia 50: 193–210. Dorn, R. D. 2000. A taxonomic study of Salix sections Mexicanae and Viminella subsection Sitchenses (Salicaceae) in North America. Brittonia 52: 1–19.]

Key to Salix

S. exigua Nutt.
Shrub or tree < 5 m, clonal by root-shoots. Stem: twigs yellow- to red-brown. Leaf: later stipules leaf-like; petiole 1–7 mm; mature blade 30–147 mm, linear or strap-shaped, acuminate (base wedge-shaped), entire or ± sparsely short-slender-serrate. Inflorescence: blooming with or after leaves, branched or not, pistillate 22–70 mm, on leafy shoots 2–70 (400) mm; flower bract ± tan; pistillate bracts deciduous. Staminate flower: stamens 2; nectaries adaxial, abaxial. Pistillate flower: ovary stalk 0.2–0.9 mm, stigma deciduous. [Online Interchange]

Key to Salix exigua

S. exigua var. hindsiana (Benth.) Dorn HINDS' WILLOW
Leaf: petiole puberulent, long-soft-wavy-hairy or -silky; mature blade abaxial hairs generally densely long-soft-fine-silky, straight, to 0. Pistillate flower: stigmas flat or slender-cylindrical, 0.3–1 mm. Fruit: 3–4.5 mm.
Common. Floodplains, sandy gravel; < 640 m. Northwestern California, Great Central Valley, Central Western California, Southwestern California; southwestern Oregon. Hybridizes with Salix exigua var. exigua. Apr–May [Online Interchange]
Unabridged synonyms: [Salix hindsiana Benth.; Salix hindsiana Benth var. leucodendroides (Rowlee) C.R. Ball; Salix hindsiana Benth var. parishiana (Rowlee) C.R. Ball]

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Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2013. Jepson eFlora,, accessed on Mar 31 2015
Citation for this treatment: [Author of taxon treatment] 2013. Salix, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on Mar 31 2015

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Geographic subdivisions indicated for the distribution of Salix exigua var. hindsiana Markers link to CCH specimen records. If the markers are obscured, reload the page [or change window size and reload]. Yellow markers indicate records that may provide evidence for eFlora range revision or may have georeferencing or identification issues.
map of distribution 1
(Note: any qualifiers in the taxon distribution description, such as 'northern', 'southern', 'adjacent' etc., are not reflected in the map above, and in some cases indication of a taxon in a subdivision is based on a single collection or author-verified occurence).

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Data provided by the participants of the Consortium of California Herbaria.
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CCH collections by month

Duplicates counted once; synonyms included.
Species do not include records of infraspecific taxa.
Blue line denotes eFlora flowering time.