Jepson Flora Project: Jepson Interchange    

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Jepson Interchange (more information)
©Copyright 1993 by the Regents of the University of California

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Shrub, tree, generally dioecious (rarely monoecious)
Stem: trunk < 40 m; wood soft; bark smooth, bitter; buds scaly
Leaves simple, alternate, deciduous; stipules generally deciduous, often large
Inflorescence: catkin, generally appearing before leaves; each flower subtended by disk or 1–2 nectary glands and 1 bract
Flower: perianth 0
Staminate flower: stamens 1–many
Pistillate flower: pistil 1, ovary superior, chamber 1, stigma lobes 2–4
Seeds many; hairs fine, white, cottony
Fruit: capsule; valves 2–4
Genera in family: 2 genera, 340 species: generally temp (except Australia, Malay Archipelago) moist places; many cultivated. Hybridization common; identification often difficult. Family description, key to genera by John O. Sawyer, Jr.



George W. Argus

Shrub, tree, dioecious; bud scale 1, not sticky, margins generally fused (or free, overlapping)
Stem: twigs generally flexible and not glaucous
Leaf: blade linear to widely obovate, entire to toothed, generally ± hairy
Inflorescence: dense catkin emerging before, with, or after leaves, sessile or on a short leafy shoot; bract subtending each flower
Flower: perianth 0
Staminate flower: stamens 1–8
Pistillate flower: ovary stalked or sessile, style 1 or 0, stigmas 2, each sometimes 2-lobed; nectaries 1–several, generally rod-like, generally between inflorescence axis and flower
Fruit: valves 2
Species in genus: ± 400 species: ± worldwide, especially n temp, arctic
Etymology: (Latin: ancient name)
Reference: [Argus 1986 Syst Bot Monog 9:1–170; Dorn 1976 Canad J Bot 54:2769–2789]
Difficult, highly variable. Not all specimens will key easily; sprout shoots and other extreme forms are not included in keys, may require field comparison for identification. Studies of variation, hybridization needed.


S. lucida Muhl.


Shrub, tree, < 10 m
Stem: twigs brownish, glabrous or soft-shaggy-hairy, sometimes brittle at base
Leaves: stipules glandular-lobed; petiole with glands; young leaves glabrous or white- or white-and-rusty-hairy; mature blade 53–170 mm, lanceolate, long-acuminate (base acute to rounded), finely serrate, glabrous or becoming so, shiny above, glaucous or not below
Inflorescence appearing with leaves, 20–90 mm, on leafy shoots 8–45 mm; flower bract tawny; pistillate bract deciduous after flower
Staminate flower: stamens 3–5
Pistillate flower: ovary glabrous, style 0.2–0.6 mm, stalk 0.8–2 mm
Chromosomes: 2n=76
Ecology: Wet places
Elevation: < 3200 m.
Bioregional distribution: California
Distribution outside California: to Alaska, w Canada, Nevada


subsp. caudata (Nutt.) E. Murray

Ecology: Wet meadows, lakeshores
Elevation: 1500–3200 m.
Bioregional distribution: High Sierra Nevada, San Bernardino Mountains, Great Basin Floristic Province
Distribution outside California: to British Columbia, Nevada
Flowering time: May
Synonyms: S. c. (Nutt.) A. Heller var. bryantiana C.R. Ball and N.F. Bracelin
Horticultural information: TRY.

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