(Plane-leaf Willow)

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Salix planifolia, Pistillate Catkins, Loveland Pass, Clear Creek Co. 6956

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Salix planifolia, Pistillate Catkins, Loveland Pass, Clear Creek Co. 1824

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Salix planifolia, Staminate Catkins, Gore Pass, Grande Co. 9862

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Salix planifolia, Staminate Catkins, Gore Pass, Grande Co. 9860

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Salix planifolia (front) and S. brachycarpa (rear), Blue Lakes, Summit Co. 9990

Scientific Name Salix planifolia USDA PLANTS Symbol SAPL2
Common Name Plane-leaf Willow ITIS Taxonomic Serial No. 22569
Family Salicaceae (Willow) SEINet
Reference
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Description Life zones and habitat: Montane to alpine (8000 to 13500 ft.); wet meadows, along streams, ponds and boggy areas.
Plant: Bush up to 9 feet tall below timberline; 2 to 3 feet tall in alpine environments; erect or sprawling, stout branches; overall green appearance; new-growth stems are dark, glossy and reddish brown and smooth or sparsely to moderately hairy.
Leaves: Upper leaf surfaces are smooth and dark green, lower are lighter green and may be slightly hairy; prominently-veined, narrowly- oblong, elliptic or oblanceolate, 0.8 to 2.5 inches long and 0.2 to 0.9 inches wide, with pointed tips and bases; stipules on early leaves are usually rudimentary or leaf-like, small and usually brownish and may be withered; on newer leaves they are usually rudimentary or leaf-like.
Inflorescence: Female catkins up to 2 inches long; male catkins less than 1 inch long with reddish/purple anthers.
Bloom Period: May to July.
References: "Flora of Colorado" by Jennifer Ackerfield, "Guide to Colorado Wildflowers" by G.K. Guennel, "A Guide to Rocky Mountain Plants" by Nelson and Williams, SW Colorado Wildflowers, E-Flora BC and SEINet.
Notes: Often found growing together with S. brachycarpa (see photo above). Willow species are difficult to differentiate and there may be errors in the IDs on these images. If you see an error, please let me know.
BONAP Distribution Map

Colorado Status:
Native

© Tom Lebsack 2022

Banner photo: Ten Mile Range and Rhodiola integrifolia (King’s Crown) in Summit County