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Salix herbacea L.
Snowbed willow

Life   Plantae   Dicotyledoneae   Salicaceae   Salix

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Associates · map
FamilyScientific name @ source (records)
Melampsoraceae  Melampsora alpina @ BPI (3)

Melampsora epitea @ BPI (9)

Melampsora farinosa @ BPI (1)

Melampsora ribesii-purpureae @ BPI (1)
Rhytismataceae  Rhytisma salicinum @ BPI (10)

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https://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=SAHE2 ---> http://plants.usda.gov/core/profile?symbol=SAHE2
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Salix herbacea L.
snowbed willow

Image of Salix herbacea

General Information
Symbol: SAHE2
Group: Dicot
Family: Salicaceae
Duration: Perennial
Growth Habit : Shrub
Native Status : CAN   N
GL   N
L48   N
Data Source and Documentation
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Native Status:
lower 48 status L48    Alaska status AK    Hawaii status HI    Puerto Rico status PR    Virgin Islands status VI    Navassa Island NAV    Canada status CAN    Greenland status GL    Saint Pierre and Michelon status SPM    North America NA   


click on a thumbnail to view an image, or see all the Salix thumbnails at the Plants Gallery

Britton, N.L., and A. Brown. 1913. An illustrated flora of the northern United States, Canada and the British Possessions. 3 vols. Charles Scribner's Sons, New York. Vol. 1: 601. Provided by Kentucky Native Plant Society . Scanned by Omnitek Inc . Usage Requirements .




Click on a scientific name below to expand it in the PLANTS Classification Report.
Rank Scientific Name and Common Name
Kingdom Plantae – Plants
Subkingdom Tracheobionta – Vascular plants
Superdivision Spermatophyta – Seed plants
Division Magnoliophyta – Flowering plants
Class Magnoliopsida – Dicotyledons
Subclass Dilleniidae
Order Salicales
Family Salicaceae – Willow family
Genus Salix L. – willow
Species Salix herbacea L. – snowbed willow

Subordinate Taxa

This plant has no children

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Threatened and Endangered Information:
This plant is listed by the U.S. federal government or a state. Common names are from state and federal lists. Click on a place name to get a complete protected plant list for that location.
Maine dwarf willow Threatened
New Hampshire dwarf willow Threatened
New York dwarf willow Endangered

Wetland Status

Interpreting Wetland Status

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Source Large Mammals Small Mammals Water Birds Terrestrial Birds


Source Large Mammals Small Mammals Water Birds Terrestrial Birds

Description of Values

Value Class Food Cover

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Following modified from Flora of North America
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FNA Vol. 7 Page 62, 67 , 68 , 72, 73, 74, 80, 152 Login | eFloras Home | Help
FNA | Family List | FNA Vol. 7 | Salicaceae | Salix

28. Salix herbacea Linnaeus, Sp. Pl. 2: 1018. 1753.

Snowbed willow

Plants 0.005-0.05 m, (dwarf), forming clonal mats by rhizomes. Stems erect; branches red-brown to violet, (sometimes weakly glaucous), glabrous; branchlets yellow-brown or red-brown, glabrous. Leaves: stipules absent; petiole (convex or flat to deeply grooved adaxially), 1.5-6(-7) mm; largest medial blade (2 pairs of secondary veins arising at or close to base, arcing) circular, subcircular or broadly elliptic, 6-21(-34) × 6-17(-31) mm, 0.9-1.4 times as long as wide, base usually subcordate or cordate, sometimes convex or rounded, margins flat, crenulate or crenate, apex rounded, convex, retuse, or toothed, abaxial surface (not glaucous), glabrous, adaxial slightly glossy to almost dull, glabrous; proximal blade margins crenulate; juvenile blade glabrous. Catkins: from subterminal buds; staminate 3-7.5 × 1.5-5 mm, flowering branchlet 0.3-2 mm; pistillate loosely flowered (2-11 flowers), stout to globose, 3.3-13 × 2-10 mm, flowering branchlet 0.8-3.5 mm; floral bract tawny, light rose, or brown, 0.5-1.5 mm, margins ciliate, apex rounded, retuse, or truncate, entire, abaxially glabrous. Staminate flowers: abaxial nectary 0.5-0.8 mm, adaxial nectary oblong or ovate, 0.6-1.1 mm, nectaries distinct, or connate and shallowly cup-shaped; filaments distinct, glabrous, or hairy on proximal 1/2; anthers shortly cylindrical or globose, 0.3-0.6 mm. Pistillate flowers: abaxial nectary (0-)0.2-0.3 mm, adaxial nectary narrowly oblong or oblong, 0.3-1.1 mm, longer or shorter than stipe, nectaries distinct or connate and shallowly cup-shaped; stipe 0.3-1.1 mm; ovary pyriform or ovoid, glabrous, beak abruptly tapering to styles; ovules 11-18 per ovary; styles connate to distinct, 0.2-0.4 mm; stigmas broadly cylindrical or 2 plump lobes, 0.08-0.24-0.32 mm. Capsules 2.2-7.5 mm. 2 n = 38.

Flowering late Jun-mid Aug. Snowbeds and places with good snow protection, well-drained riverbanks, sandy beaches, granite boulder ridges, steep bouldery slopes, or in marshes, usually on non-calcareous substrates, places exposed to sea-spray; 0-1700 m; Greenland; Man., Nfld. and Labr., N.W.T., Nunavut, Que.; Maine, N.H.; Europe (British Isles, Russia, Scandinavia, Spitzbergen); Atlantic Islands (Iceland).

Salix herbacea is the only willow with an amphi-Atlantic distribution. Disjunct populations occur as far west as Great Bear and Great Slave lakes, Northwest Territories. Macrofossils show that, during the late-Wisconsinan period, it occurred in North America along the glacial margin between Minnesota (R. G. Baker et al. 1999) and Cambridge, Massachusetts (G. W. Argus and M. B. Davis 1962). D. J. Beerling (1998) provided a comprehensive review of its biology and ecology.


Salix herbacea forms natural hybrids with S. arctica, S. argyrocarpa, S. fuscescens , and S. uva-ursi .

Salix herbacea × S. uva-ursi ( S . × peasei Fernald) was described from Mt. Washington, New Hampshire, but occurs also in northern Quebec (G. W. Argus, unpubl.). It is morphologically intermediate between the parents. Its distinctly crenulate, broadly obovate leaves are similar to those of S. herbacea , its catkins are smaller and have fewer flowers than those of S. uva-ursi but more flowers than those of S. herbacea , its leaves are sparsely glaucous abaxially, and it has stems stouter than those of S. uva-ursi .

Following modified from CalPhotos
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http://calphotos.berkeley.edu/cgi/img_query?query_src=dl&where-taxon=Salix+herbacea&where-lifeform=specimen_tag&rel-lifeform=ne&rel-taxon=begins+with&where-lifeform=Plant ---> https://calphotos.berkeley.edu/cgi/img_query?query_src=dl&where-taxon=Salix+herbacea&where-lifeform=specimen_tag&rel-lifeform=ne&rel-taxon=begins+with&where-lifeform=Plant

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Number of matches : 4
Query: SELECT * FROM img WHERE ready=1 and taxon like "Salix herbacea%" and (lifeform != "specimen_tag" OR lifeform != "Plant") ORDER BY taxon

Click on the thumbnail to see an enlargement

Salix herbacea
Salix herbacea
Dwarf Willow
ID: 0000 0000 0707 1610 [detail]
© 2007 Dr. Amadej Trnkoczy

Salix herbacea
Salix herbacea
Dwarf Willow
ID: 0000 0000 0707 1611 [detail]
© 2007 Dr. Amadej Trnkoczy

Salix herbacea
Salix herbacea
Dwarf Willow
ID: 0000 0000 0707 1612 [detail]
© 2007 Dr. Amadej Trnkoczy

Salix herbacea
Salix herbacea
Dwarf Willow
ID: 0000 0000 0909 0517 [detail]
© 2009 Maximilian Dehling

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