|Salix cinerea subsp. var.||Gray willow|
|Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture|
Salix cinerea, Linn. Large shrub or small tree, to 25 ft.: 1- and 2-year-old branchlets tomentose: stipules often persistent: lvs. obovate or elliptic, acute or rounded, narrowed or rounded at the base, irregularly serrate, pubescent on both sides, 1 1/2 – 2 1/2 in. long: catkins sessile, before the lvs.; staminate ovoid; filaments pilose, free; pistillate cylindric; ovary pubescent; style very short or wanting. April. Eu., N. Afr., W. and N. Asia. Var. oleifolia, Reichb. (var. angustifolia, Doll). Lvs. elliptic-lanceolate.
It is a deciduous shrub or small tree growing to 4-15 m high. The leaves are spirally arranged, 2–9 cm long and 1–3 cm broad (exceptionally up to 16 cm long and 5 cm broad), green above, hairy below, with a crenate margin. The flowers are produced in early spring in catkins 2–5 cm long; it is dioecious with male and female catkins on separate plants. The male catkins are silvery at first, turning yellow when the pollen is released; the female catkins are greenish-grey, maturing in early summer to release the numerous tiny seeds embedded in white cottony down which assists wind dispersal.
It usually grows in wetlands. The two subspecies differ slightly in requirements, with subsp. cinerea generally restricted to basic marshland and fen habitats, while subsp. oleifolia is less demanding, occurring in both basic marshes and acidic bogs and streamsides.
Pests and diseases
- Salix cinerea subsp. cinerea. Central and eastern Europe, western Asia. Shrub to 4–6 m (rarely 10 m) tall, with smooth bark. Leaves densely hairy below with pale yellow-grey hairs; stipules large, persistent until autumn.
- Salix cinerea subsp. oleifolia (Sm.) Macreight (syn. S. atrocinerea Brot.). Western Europe, northwest Africa. Shrub or tree to 10–15 m tall, with furrowed bark. Leaves thinly hairy below with dark red-brown hairs; stipules small, early deciduous.
There is some overlap in the distributions (not indicated in the map, right), with both occurring in a broad band north to south through France, and scattered specimens of subsp. cinerea west to Ireland, western France, and Morocco; scattered specimens of subsp. oleifolia occur east to the Netherlands. Specimens of subsp. oleifolia in southern Scandinavia are planted or naturalised, not native. Intermediate specimens also occur.
- Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture, by L. H. Bailey, MacMillan Co., 1963
- w:Salix cinerea. Some of the material on this page may be from Wikipedia, under the Creative Commons license.
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