Common Trees of the North Carolina Piedmont

Stephen M. Seiberling, Alan S. Weakley, and Peter S. White

Salix nigra Marsh. Black willow. Family Salicaceae. ITIS Taxonomic Serial Number 22484. USDA PLANTS Symbol SANI. TROPICOS # 28300177.

Images • Branchlet with leaves. • Individual leaves. • Branchlet with buds. • Close-up of buds. • Herbarium sheet 1. • Herbarium sheet 2. • Herbarium sheet 3. • Herbarium sheet 4.

Detailed Description:

Plant habit and life style. Plants Angiosperms, dioecious, shrub or tree, (3–)10–20(–45) m tall.

Stems. Pith continuous. Young twigs (1-year-old or less) brown or green or orange or purple or red or reddish-brown or yellow, 1–3 mm wide, glabrous or glabrate or pubescent, pilose. Twigs (2–4 years old) glabrous or pubescent. Leaf scars V-shaped, bundle scars 3 per leaf scar, stipule scars inconspicuous or absent. Bark of mature trunks exfoliating or flaky or furrowed or ridged.

Buds. Buds axillary, reddish-brown, 2–4 mm long, sharp, bud scales single scale.

Leaves. Leaves deciduous, simple, petiolate, alternate, distichous, (2–)5–15 cm long, (0.3–)0.5–1.5(–2) cm wide, falcate or lanceolate, leaf margins serrate or serrulate, leaf apices acuminate, leaf bases cuneate or obtuse or rounded. Leaf upper surface green, glabrous or glabrate or pubescent. Leaf lower surface green, glabrous or glabrate or pubescent or with tufts in vein axils. Leaf venation pinnate. Petioles 0.2–1 cm long, pubescent, glandular. Stipules present, caducous or persistent, blade-like.

Flowers. Flowering February or March or April or May. Inflorescences axillary or terminal, catkins, flowers sessile. Flowers unisexual or pistillate or staminate. Perianth. Calyx absent. Corolla absent. Androecium. Stamens 3–7 per flower. Gynoecium. Ovaries superior, pistils 1 per flower. Gynoecium syncarpous, 2 carpels per flower, styles 1 per pistil, styles 0.2 mm long.

Fruits. Fruits capsules, 0.3–0.8 cm long, reddish-brown, fruit maturation 1 years.

Habitat. Habitat bogs and seepages or bottomland forests or disturbed and weedy areas or mixed forest edges or suburban plantings.

Special Diagnostic Characters. Leaves the same green color on both upper and lower surfaces; young twigs breaking easily at the base; the minute seeds with long, white, silky hairs.

Cite this publication as: ‘Stephen M. Seiberling, Alan S. Weakley, and Peter S. White (2005 onwards). Common Trees of the North Carolina Piedmont: Identification, Descriptions, Illustrations, and Glossary. Version: March 7, 2006. <>’.

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