Salix exigua

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Salix exigua
Salix exigua staminate catkin 2003-06-04.jpg
Leaves and staminate flower
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Clade: Rosids
Order: Malpighiales
Family: Salicaceae
Genus: Salix
Species:
S. exigua
Binomial name
Salix exigua
Salix exigua exigua, interior & hindsiana range map 2.png
Natural range of Salix exigua
S.e.exigua: green, S.e.hindsiana: blue, S.e.interior: red

Salix exigua (sandbar willow, narrowleaf willow, or coyote willow; syn. S. argophylla, S. hindsiana, S. interior, S. linearifolia, S. luteosericea, S. malacophylla, S. nevadensis, and S. parishiana) is a species of willow native to most of North America except for the southeast and far north, occurring from Alaska east to New Brunswick, and south to northern Mexico. [1] It is considered a threatened species in Massachusetts while the in Connecticut, Maryland, and New Hampshire it is considered endangered. [2]

Description

It is a deciduous shrub reaching 4–7 metres (13–23 ft) in height, spreading by basal shoots to form dense clonal colonies. The leaves are narrow lanceolate, 4–12 centimetres (1.6–4.7 in) long and 2–10 millimetres (0.079–0.394 in) broad, green, to grayish with silky white hairs at least when young; the margin is entire or with a few irregular, widely spaced small teeth. The flowers are produced in catkins in late spring, after the leaves appear. It is dioecious, with staminate and pistillate catkins on separate plants, the male catkins up to 10 centimetres (3.9 in) long, the female catkins up to 8 centimetres (3.1 in) long. The fruit is a cluster of capsules, each containing numerous minute seeds embedded in shiny white silk. [3] [4]

Subspecies

The two subspecies, which meet in the western Great Plains, are: [1] [3]

  • S. exigua subsp. exigua – western North America, leaves grayish all summer with persistent silky hairs, seed capsules 3–6 millimetres (0.12–0.24 in) long
  • S. exigua subsp. interior (Rowlee) Cronq. (syn. S. interior Rowlee) – eastern and central North America, leaves usually lose hairs and become green by summer, only rarely remaining pubescent, seed capsules 5–8 millimetres (0.20–0.31 in) long

Cultivation

Salix exigua is cultivated as an ornamental tree. In the UK it has gained the Royal Horticultural Society’s Award of Garden Merit. [5] [6]

Uses

This willow had many uses for Native Americans; the branches were used as flexible poles and building materials, the smaller twigs were used to make baskets, the bark was made into cord and string, and the bark and leaves had several medicinal uses. [7] The Zuni people take an infusion of the bark for coughs and sore throats. [8]

The foliage is browsed by livestock. [9]

Ecology

The male flowers provide pollen for bees. It is a larval host to the California hairstreak, Lorquin's admiral, mourning cloak, sylvan hairstreak, and tiger swallowtail. [10]

References

  1. ^ a b Lesica, Peter (30 June 2012). Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. ISBN  978-1-889878-39-3.
  2. ^ Salix exigua Retrieved 24 April 2019.
  3. ^ a b Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center: Salix exigua Archived 2008-03-28 at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ Jepson Flora: Salix exigua
  5. ^ "RHS Plantfinder - Salix exigua". Retrieved 24 April 2019.
  6. ^ "AGM Plants - Ornamental" (PDF). Royal Horticultural Society. July 2017. p. 93. Retrieved 24 April 2019.
  7. ^ University of Michigan Native American Ethnobotany Index: Salix exigua
  8. ^ Camazine, Scott and Robert A. Bye 1980 A Study Of The Medical Ethnobotany Of The Zuni Indians of New Mexico. Journal of Ethnopharmacology 2:365–388 (p. 378)
  9. ^ Little, Elbert L. (1980). The Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Trees: Eastern Region. New York: Knopf. p. 333. ISBN  0-394-50760-6.
  10. ^ The Xerces Society (2016), Gardening for Butterflies: How You Can Attract and Protect Beautiful, Beneficial Insects, Timber Press.

External links