Salix exigua Nutt.

sandbar willow

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New England Distribution

Adapted from BONAP data

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North America Distribution

Adapted from BONAP data

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Facts About

Salix exigua is a distinctive and relatively rare willow that is primarily found on the shorelines of major rivers in New England.

Habitat

Anthropogenic (man-made or disturbed habitats), floodplain (river or stream floodplains), shores of rivers or lakes

Characteristics

Habitat
  • terrestrial
  • wetlands
New England state
  • Connecticut
  • Maine
  • Massachusetts
  • New Hampshire
  • Vermont
Growth form
the plant is a shrub (i.e., a woody plant with several stems growing from the base)
Leaf type
the leaf blade is simple (i.e., lobed or unlobed but not separated into leaflets)
Leaves per node
there is one leaf per node along the stem
Leaf blade edges
the edge of the leaf blade has teeth
Leaf duration
the leaves drop off in winter (or they wither but persist on the plant)
armature on plant
the plant does not have spines, prickles, or thorns
Leaf blade length
60–160 mm
Leaf blade width
4–11 mm
Leaf stalk
the leaves have leaf stalks
Fruit type (general)
the fruit is dry and splits open when ripe
Bark texture
the bark of an adult plant is thin and smooth
Twig winter color
  • brown
  • red
  • yellow
Bud scale number
there is one scale on the winter bud, and it covers the scale like a cap
Show All Characteristics
  • Buds or leaf scars
    Bud scale number
    there is one scale on the winter bud, and it covers the scale like a cap
    Bud scar shape (Fraxinus)
    NA
    Collateral buds
    there are no collateral buds on the sides of the branches
    Superposed buds
    there are no superposed buds on the branch
  • Flowers
    Carpels fused
    the carpels are fused to one another
    Enlarged sterile flowers
    there are no enlarged sterile flowers on the plant
    Flower petal color
    NA
    Flower symmetry
    there is only one way to evenly divide the flower (the flower is bilaterally symmetrical)
    Hairs on ovary (Amelanchier)
    NA
    Hypanthium present
    the flower does not have a hypanthium
    Inflorescence position
    the inflorescences grow on the twigs
    Inflorescence type
    the inflorescence is an ament (catkin; slender, usually pendulous inflorescence with crowded unisexual flowers)
    Number of pistils
    1
    Ovary position
    the ovary is above the point of petal and/or sepal attachment
    Petal and sepal arrangement
    the flower lacks sepals and petals
    Petal appearance
    NA
    Petal fusion
    NA
    Sepal appearance
    NA
    Sepal cilia (Ilex)
    NA
    Sepal tip glands
    NA
    Sepals fused only to sepals
    NA
    Stamen number
    1 or 2
    Stamen position relative to petals
    NA
    Stamens fused
    the stamens are not fused to one another
  • Fruits or seeds
    Berry color
    NA
    Fruit type (general)
    the fruit is dry and splits open when ripe
    Fruit type (specific)
    the fruit is a capsule (splits along two or more seams, apical teeth or pores when dry, to release two or more seeds)
    Nut with spines (Fagaceae)
    NA
    Wings on fruit
    there are no wings on the fruit
  • Glands or sap
    Sap color
    the sap is clear and watery
    Stalked glands on fruit (Rosa)
    NA
  • Growth form
    Growth form
    the plant is a shrub (i.e., a woody plant with several stems growing from the base)
  • Leaves
    Hairs on upper side of leaf blade
    • the upper side of the leaf is fuzzy or hairy
    • the upper side of the leaf is not hairy, or has very few hairs
    Leaf blade base shape
    the base of the leaf blade is cuneate (wedge-shaped, tapers to the base with relatively straight, converging edges), or narrow
    Leaf blade edges
    the edge of the leaf blade has teeth
    Leaf blade edges (Acer)
    NA
    Leaf blade flatness
    the leaf is flat (planar) at the edges
    Leaf blade hairs
    • at least some of the hairs on the leaf blade have glands at their tips
    • the hairs on the leaf blade are different from the choices given
    Leaf blade length
    60–160 mm
    Leaf blade scales
    there are no scales on the leaf blades
    Leaf blade shape
    • the leaf blade is lanceolate (lance-shaped; widest below the middle and tapering at both ends)
    • the leaf blade is linear (very narrow with more or less parallel sides)
    • the leaf blade is ovate (widest below the middle and broadly tapering at both ends)
    Leaf blade texture
    • the leaf blade is coriaceous (has a firm, leathery texture)
    • the leaf blade is herbaceous (has a leafy texture)
    Leaf blade translucent dots
    there are no translucent dots on the leaf blade
    Leaf blade width
    4–11 mm
    Leaf duration
    the leaves drop off in winter (or they wither but persist on the plant)
    Leaf lobe tips (Quercus)
    NA
    Leaf midrib glands
    the midrib of the leaf blade lacks glands on the upper surface
    Leaf stalk
    the leaves have leaf stalks
    Leaf teeth
    the leaf blade margin is serrate (with forward-pointing) or dentate (with outward-pointing) with medium-sized to coarse teeth
    Leaf teeth hairs (Carya)
    NA
    Leaf type
    the leaf blade is simple (i.e., lobed or unlobed but not separated into leaflets)
    Leaves per node
    there is one leaf per node along the stem
    Specific leaf type
    the leaves are simple (i.e., lobed or unlobed but not separated into leaflets
  • Place
    Habitat
    • terrestrial
    • wetlands
    New England state
    • Connecticut
    • Maine
    • Massachusetts
    • New Hampshire
    • Vermont
    Specific habitat
    • man-made or disturbed habitats
    • river or stream floodplains
    • shores of rivers or lakes
  • Scent
    Plant odor
    the plant does not have much of an odor, or it has an unpleasant or repellant odor
  • Stem, shoot, branch
    Aerial roots
    the plant has no aerial roots
    Bark texture
    the bark of an adult plant is thin and smooth
    Branch brittleness (willows only)
    the branches are flexible, and do not break easily
    Branch cross-section
    the branch is circular in cross-section, or it has five or more sides, so that there are no sharp angles
    First-year cane (Rubus)
    NA
    Pith shape
    the outline of the pith in a twig is roughly round
    Twig papillae (Vaccinium species only)
    NA
    Twig winter color
    • brown
    • red
    • yellow
    Wings on branch
    the branch does not have wings on it
    armature on plant
    the plant does not have spines, prickles, or thorns

Wetland Status

Usually occurs in wetlands, but occasionally in non-wetlands. (Wetland indicator code: FACW)

New England Distribution and Conservation Status

Distribution

Connecticut
present
Maine
present
Massachusetts
present
New Hampshire
present
Rhode Island
absent
Vermont
present

Conservation Status

Exact status definitions can vary from state to state. For details, please check with your state.

Connecticut
extremely rare to rare (S-rank: S1S2), endangered (code: E)
Vermont
uncommon to fairly widespread (S-rank: S3S4)

ssp. interior

Maine
extremely rare (S-rank: S1), endangered (code: E)
Massachusetts
rare (S-rank: S2), threatened (code: T)
New Hampshire
extremely rare (S-rank: S1), endangered (code: E)

Native to North America?

Yes

Sometimes Confused With

Salix viminalis

Synonyms

  • Salix exigua Nutt. var. exterior (Fern.) C.F. Reed
  • Salix exigua Nutt. var. pedicellata (Anderss.) C
  • Salix exigua Nutt. var. sericans (Nees) Nesom
  • Salix fluviatilis Nutt. var. sericans (Nees) Boivin
  • Salix interior Rowlee
  • Salix interior Rowlee var. exterior Fern.
  • Salix interior Rowlee var. pedicellata (Anderss.) C. R. Ball
  • Salix interior Rowlee var. wheeleri Rowlee
  • Salix longifolia Muhl.
  • Salix longifolia Muhl. var. interior (Rowlee) M.E. Jones
  • Salix longifolia Muhl. var. sericans Nees
  • Salix longifolia Muhl. var. wheeleri (Rowlee) C. K. Schneider
  • Salix wheeleri (Rowlee) Rydb.

Family

Salicaceae

Genus

Salix

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Information from Dichotomous Key of Flora Novae Angliae

13.  Salix exigua Nutt. ssp. interior (Rowlee) Cronq. NC

sandbar willow. Salix exigua Nutt. var. exterior (Fern.) C.F. Reed; S. exigua Nutt. var. 
 pedicellata (Anderss.) Cronq.; S. exigua Nutt. var. sericans (Nees) Nesom; S. fluviatilis Nutt. 
var. sericans (Nees) Boivin; S. interior Rowlee; S. interior Rowlee var. exterior Fern.; S. interior 
 Rowlee var. pedicellata (Anderss.) C. R. Ball; S. interior Rowlee var. wheeleri Rowlee; 
 S. longifolia Muhl.; S. longifolia Muhl. var. interior (Rowlee) M.E. Jones; S. longifolia Muhl. var. 
 sericans Nees; S. longifolia Muhl. var. wheeleri (Rowlee) C. K. Schneider; S. wheeleri (Rowlee) 
Rydb. • CT, MA, ME, NH, VT. Primarily along sand, gravel, and cobble shorelines of major 
rivers, less frequently on lake shores, rarely in borrow pits. Some recent occurrences along 
impounded lake shores and in borrow pits of ME and VT appear to be introductions. 
Most forms of this species in New England have elongate, linear to narrow-lanceolate 
leaf blades 60–160 ×4–11 mm. A rare form, found only on the Aroostook River in ME, has 
oblong to oblong-elliptic blades mostly 27–63 ×9–15 mm (named var. exterior). It is a 
distinctive morphology, but apparent intermediates occur in Quebec (specimens at CAN; 
images seen!).