Barratt's Willow - Salix barrattiana
State Rank Reason (see State Rank above)
Rare in Montana. Known from two disjunct sites, one in Glacier National Park and one on the Beartooth Plateau. Populations are small, but the remote, high-elevation habitat should greatly minimize the potential for any negative impacts to the viability of the species in the state.
Barratt's Willow is a much-branched shrub that is up to 1 m tall. It has young twigs that are sticky and covered with long, soft hairs. The leaves have petioles that are 5-14 mm long and entire, elliptic or broadly lance-shaped blades that are 4-7 cm long. The blades are densely covered with long, gray hair beneath and thinly so above. The flowers are without petals and sepals and are borne in dense, spike-like inflorescences (aments or catkins); these are erect and sessile on twigs formed during the previous year. The male and female aments occur on separate plants. The seed capsules are hairy, and the bracts subtending them are black. The female aments are 4-9 cm long, while the male aments are 2-5 cm long.
Mature fruit in July-August.
Species of willow are often difficult to identify. The alpine habitat, sessile catkins, and sticky twigs will usually distinguish S. barrattiana from the others in our area. Good specimens with both leaves and mature female catkins are necessary for positive identification.
AK and northwest Canada south to BC and northern MT; disjunct in the Beartooth Mountains along the MT-WY border.
Observations in Montana Natural Heritage Program Database
Number of Observations:
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(Observations spanning multiple months or years are excluded from time charts)
Cold, moist soil in the alpine zone.
Ecological Systems Associated with this Species
- Additional ReferencesLegend: View Online Publication
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- Argus, G. 2010. Salix. In: Flora of North America Editorial Committee, eds. 1993+. Flora of North America North of Mexico. 16+ vols. New York and Oxford. Vol. 7.
- Dorn, R. D. 1970. The Willows of Montana. Montana State University Herbarium, Dept. of Botany and Microbiology, Bozeman, Montana. 18 pp.
- Dorn, R.D. 2010. The genus Salix in North America north of Mexico. 59 pp.
- Fertig, W. and M. Bynum. 1994. Biological report on the proposed Twin Lakes Research Natural Area. Unpublished report to the Shoshone National Forest. Wyoming Natural Diversity Database, Laramie, Wyoming. 33 pp. plus appendices.
- Lesica, P. 1993. Vegetation and flora of the Line Creek Plateau area, Carbon County, Montana. Unpublished report to USDA Forest Service, Intermountain Research Station. Montana Natural Heritage Program, Helena, Montana. 30 pp.
- Lesica, P., M. T. Lavin, and P. F. Stickney. 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. Fort Worth, TX: BRIT Press. viii + 771 p.