Polar Willow

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Polar Willow
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Kingdom: Plantae
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Division: Magnoliophyta
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Class: Magnoliopsida
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Order: Malpighiales
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Family: Salicaceae
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Genus: Salix
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Species: S. polaris
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Binomial name
Salix polaris
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Type Species

The Polar Willow (Salix polaris) is a species of willow with a circumpolar distribution in the high arctic tundra, extending north to the limits of land, and south of the arctic in the mountains of Norway and British Columbia, Canada.

One of the smallest willows in the world, it is a prostrate, creeping dwarf shrub, only 2-3 cm high, and has underground branches or runners in the uppermost soil layers. The leaves are rounded-ovate, dark green and have entire margins. It is dioecious, with separate female and male plants. The flowers are grouped in short catkins each bearing only a few flowers. The fruit is a brownish and hairy capsule. The long runners with freely-rooting stems creep in mats of mosses and lichens, which keeps them together and protects them from the wind. It grows as well in open gravel as closed vegetation.

See also

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