Salix amygdaloides

Salix amygdaloides

Salix amygdaloides (Peachleaf Willow) is a species of willow native to southern Canada and the United States, from Quebec west to eastern British Columbia, southeast to western Kentucky, and southwest to Arizona and Nevada.

It is a small to medium-sized deciduous tree, growing to 4–20 m tall; besides the cottonwoods it is the largest tree native on the prairies. It has a single trunk, or sometimes several shorter trunks. The leaves are lanceolate, 3-13 cm long and 1-4 cm wide, yellowish green with a pale, whitish underside and a finely serrated margin. The flowers are yellow catkins, 3-8 cm long, produced in the spring with the leaves. The reddish-yellow fruit matures in late spring or early summer, the individual capsules 4-6 mm long.

The Peachleaf Willow grows very quickly, but is short-lived. It can only spread by seeds, whereas most other willows can propagate from roots or snapped bits of twig.

It can be found on the northern prairies, often near streams, and accompanying cottonwoods. As both the common and scientific name suggests, the leaves bear some similarity to those of a peach or an almond (Latin, amygdalus).


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