Salicaceae . . . . . Willow family

Select from the following 3 groups:

Populus . . . . Poplars

Poplars can fall into 4 groups (shown below in columns). There are many hybrids and cultivars, often difficult to distinguish. Only a few examples shown:


1. Black poplars
2. Balsam poplars
3. White poplars
4. Aspen
Flattened stalk, lvs green both sides
Round lf stalk, lvs pale below, scent
White underside
Flattened lf stalk, lf shape

N.B. Lvs similar to Limes (Tilia):

1. 'Black' poplars

Leaves similar colour both sides, flattened petiole; many hybrids planted

Populus nigra . . . . Black poplar

A tall narrow cultivar is Populus nigra 'Italica' . . . . Lombardy poplar:

Populus x canadensis . . . . Hybrid black poplar

Very many hybrids planted

'Balsam' poplars

Lvs distinctly paler on underside, balsam smell, round petioles; several hybrids occur

Populus balsamifera . . . . Eastern Balsam poplar

Suckers freely

Populus trichocarpa . . . . Western Balsam poplar

Sharp ridges on side shoots, minute hairs on petioles

3. 'White' poplars

Very white underside of leaves

Populus alba . . . . White poplar

Widely planted

Populus x canescens . . . . Grey poplar

4. Aspen

Populus tremula . . . . Aspen

Very flattened petiole; broadly toothed leaves without sharp point

Salix . . . . Willows

Very many spp. and hybrids have been recognised; only a few examples are shown here

Select from the following 2 groups:    Mountain willows,   or    Lowland willows:

Mountain willows (usually <2 m):

Select from the following 3 groups:    <2 m tall,    Lvs finely toothed    or    Lvs not finely toothed:

Lowland willows <1.5 m tall:

Lowland willows - Lvs finely toothed:

Hairy lvs

Lowland willows - Lvs not finely toothed:

Lowland willows - other views:

Salix alba . . . . . White willow

Lvs long & narrow (7-10x), silky on lower side; Common by streams etc. in lowland BI

Salix arbuscula . . . . Mountain willow

Damp rocky slopes and mountains in C Sc

Salix aurita . . . . Eared willow

Characteristic ears on leaf bases; esp. common in heath and scrub in N & W of Br and all Ire, uncommon in SE En

Salix caprea . . . . Goat willow agg.

Throughout lowland BI to 10 m tall; twigs not ridged (c.f. the similar S. cinerea), leaves with little point

Salix cinerea . . . . Grey willow agg. or Common sallow

To 6m tall; Has ridges under the bark of >2yo wood (c.f. the similar S. caprea); lvs hairy on lower side; the commonest Salix in lowland Br; in wet woods and marshes (sometimes split into two subspp. with subsp. oleifolia thoughout +/- BI with glossy lvs, and subsp. cinerea with lvs dull and +/- hairy on top - predominant in E Anglia)

Salix daphnoides . . . . European violet willow

Salix euxina . . . . Crack willow

Twigs brittle; scattered in wet places esp. in N

Salix gracistyla 'Melanostachys' . . . . Black pussy willow

An introduced garden plant from SE Asia

Salix herbacea . . . . Dwarf willow

A tiny plant <10 cm; Localised to high mountain tops but reasonably common in suitable situations esp. in N & W

Salix lanata . . . . Woolly willow

Densely hairy lvs with large stipules (c.f. S. lapponum); very local on mountain cliff ledges in Sc

Salix lapponum . . . . Downy willow

Lvs hairy with small or 0 stipules (c.f. S. lanata); local on cliffs protected from grazing on mountains in C Scotland

Salix myrsinites . . . . Whortle-leaved willow

Shiny green lvs; rather local in C Highlands of Sc

Salix myrsinifolia . . . . Dark-leaved willow

Lvs green on upper side, glaucous on lower, blackening when dried; local on mountains in N & C Sc

Salix phylicifolia . . . . Tea-leaved willow

N Br on base-rich soils

Salix purpurea . . . . Purple willow

Lvs hairless and mostly opposite; shrub to c. 5 m; throughout BI

Salix repens . . . . Creeping willow

A rather small shrub to about 1 m; in dune slacks and on acid heaths and moors

Salix reticulata . . . . Net-leaved willow

Very local near mountain tops in N & C Sc

Salix triandra . . . . Almond willow

Leaves finely toothed; twigs glossy, pale brown and ridged; Most common in S & E of Br and Ire

Salix viminalis . . . . Osier

Leaves densely silky hairy on lower side, not evenly finely toothed; to about 6m; Common in wet areas throughout BI exc. on mountains

Salix x fragilis . . . . Hybrid crack willow

Garden origin, widely planted and frequent in lowland Br; lvs largely hairless when mature

Salix x sepulcralis . . . . Weeping willow

Garden origin, but widely planted; weeping trees with hairless lvs even when young are S. pendulina

Also S. alba - white willow
S. fragilis - crack willow
S. purpurea - purple willow
S. pentandra - Bay willow