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Home > Resources > North Carolina Trees > Other Willows

Other Willows


There are a number of other willows that reach small tree size. They have finely toothed leaves that are long and narrow -- but not as long or narrow as black willow leaves. Like black willow, they usually are found along streams, lakes and ponds because seedlings growing from tiny seed require an immediate and constant supply of moisture to survive.

Weeping willow (Salix babylonica L) is a native of eastern Asia that has been planted as an ornamental tree throughout the state. It has escaped and become naturalized along streams and other wet sites. Its long, pendulous branchlets and graceful, weeping form make it the easiest willow to recognize.

White willow (Salix alba L), like weeping willow, is not a native of North America. It was introduced from Europe as an ornamental tree, escaped and has become widely naturalized. Its branchlets are dark green to brown and often are covered with long, silky hairs. The petiole (see the foreward for an example) of white willow have small swollen discs at the base of the leaf blade called glands, which are not found on the leaves of other willows. The undersurface of white willow leaves, in keeping with the tree's name, is distinctly white or pale gray.

Carolina, or swamp, willow (Salix caroliniana Michaux.) grows throughout the Coastal Plain and along rivers and streams into the Piedmont. It maybe distinguished from black willow by its leaves, which are wider and distinctly whitish on the underside.

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