=Habitat and Range.=--Low, moist grounds; along streams. Probably
indigenous throughout Europe, northern Africa, and Asia as far south as
northwestern India. Extensively introduced in America, and often
spontaneous over large areas.
New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Ontario.
New England,--sparingly throughout.
South to Delaware; extensively introduced in the western states.
=Habit.=--A large tree, 50-80 feet in height; trunk usually rather short
and 2-7 feet in diameter; head large, not as broad-spreading as that of
S. fragilis; branches numerous, mostly ascending.
=Bark.=--Bark of trunk in old trees gray and coarsely ridged, in young
trees smooth; twigs smooth, olive.
=Leaves.=--Leaves simple, alternate, 2-4 inches long, silky-hairy on
both sides when young, when old still retaining more or less pubescence,
especially on the paler under surface; outline narrowly lanceolate or
elliptic-lanceolate, glandular-serrate, tapering to a long pointed apex
and to an acute base; leafstalk short, usually without glands; stipules
ovate-lanceolate, soon falling.
=Note.=--Var. vitellina, Koch., by far the most common form of this
willow; mature leaves glabrous above; twigs yellow. Var. caerulea,
Koch.; mature leaves bluish-green, glabrous above, glaucous beneath;
=Inflorescence.=--April to May. Catkins appearing with the leaves,
slender, erect, stalked; scales linear; stamens 2; filaments distinct,
hairy below the middle; stigma nearly sessile, deeply cleft; capsule
glabrous, sessile or nearly so.
=Horticultural Value.=--Hardy throughout New England; grows best in
moist localities; extensively cultivated to bind the soil along the
banks of streams. Easily propagated from slips.
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