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Montana Field Guide

Montana Field Guides

Hoary Willow - Salix candida

Native Species

Global Rank: G5
State Rank: S3S4

Agency Status
MNPS Threat Rank:
C-value: 9

External Links

General Description
Shrubs 20–100 cm. Twigs purple, white-tomentose. Leaf blades 3–9 cm long, oblanceolate with entire margins, white-tomentose beneath, sparsely hairy above. Female catkins emerge with the leaves, 1–4 cm long, on leafy branchlets 1–5 mm long; scales long-hairy. Capsules white-tomentose, 3–8 mm long; stipes ca. 1 mm long; style 1–1.5 mm long, red (Lesica 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX).

Diagnostic Characteristics
Salix candida is one of the most distinctive willows, due largely to leaf characteristics. The thinly tomentose early leaves are evidently glaucuous beneath, and so, early in the season these plants somewhat resemble S. brachycarpa, which is similar in its habitat, stature and floral morphology. Salix candida, however, has notably longer and narrower leaves.

Species Range

Range Comments
AK to NL south to WA, ID, CO, SD, IA and NJ (Lesica 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX).

Observations in Montana Natural Heritage Program Database
Number of Observations: 139

(Click on the following maps and charts to see full sized version) Map Help and Descriptions
Relative Density



(Observations spanning multiple months or years are excluded from time charts)

Fens, margins of swamps, marshes, usually where calcareous; montane (Lesica 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX).

The following animal species have been reported as pollinators of this species or genera where their geographic ranges overlap: Bombus vagans, Bombus bifarius, Bombus fervidus, Bombus frigidus, Bombus huntii, Bombus melanopygus, Bombus ternarius, Bombus terricola, Bombus sitkensis, Bombus occidentalis, Bombus pensylvanicus, Bombus bimaculatus, Bombus griseocollis, Bombus impatiens, and Bombus suckleyi (Plath 1934, Macior 1968, Heinrich 1976, Thorp et al. 1983, Colla and Dumesh 2010, Colla et al. 2011, Koch et al. 2012, Williams et al. 2014).

  • Literature Cited AboveLegend:   View Online Publication
    • Colla, S., L. Richardson, and P. Williams. 2011. Bumble bees of the eastern United States. Washington, DC: USDA Forest Service, Pollinator Partnership. 103 p.
    • Colla, S.R. and S. Dumesh. 2010. The bumble bees of southern Ontario: notes on natural history and distribution. Journal of the Entomological Society of Ontario 141: 39-68.
    • Koch, J., J. Strange, and P. Williams. 2012. Bumble bees of the western United States. Washington, DC: USDA Forest Service, Pollinator Partnership. 143 p.
    • Macior, L.M. 1968. Bombus (Hymenoptera, Apidae) queen foraging in relation to vernal pollination in Wisconsin. Ecology 49:20-25.
    • Plath, O.E. 1934. Bumblebees and their ways. New York, NY: Macmillan Company. 201 p.
    • Thorp, R.W., D.S. Horning, and L.L. Dunning. 1983. Bumble bees and cuckoo bumble bees of California (Hymenoptera: Apidae). Bulletin of the California Insect Survey 23:1-79.
    • Williams, P., R. Thorp, L. Richardson, and S. Colla. 2014. Bumble Bees of North America. Princeton, NJ. Princeton University Press.
  • Additional ReferencesLegend:   View Online Publication
    Do you know of a citation we're missing?
    • 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.
    • Argus, G. W. 1957. The willows of Wyoming. University of Wyoming Publications, 21(1):1-63.
    • Argus, G.W. 1973. The genus Salix in Alaska and the Yukon. Natl. Museum Nat. Sci. Publications in Botany no. 2. National Museums of Canada, Ottawa, ON, Canada. 279 p.
    • Boggs, K., P. Hansen, R. Pfister, and J. Joy. 1990. Classification and management of riparian and wetland sites in northwestern Montana. Draft version I. Report prepared for the Montana Riparian Association and Montana Forest and Conservation Experiment Station, School of Forestry, University of Montana, Missoula. 216 pp.
    • Brayshaw, T. C. 1976. Catkin bearing plants (Amentiferae) of British Columbia. Occasional Papers of the British Columbia Provincial Museum No. 18. Victoria, BC: Department of Provincial Secretary. 176 p.
    • Brunsfeld, S. J. and F. D. Johnson. 1985. Field guide to the willows of east-central Idaho. University of Idaho, Forest, Wildlife and Range Experimemt Station, Moscow, Idaho. Bulletin no. 39. 95 pp.
    • Cooper, D. J. 1991. Additions to the peatland flora of the southern Rocky Mountains: habitat description and water chemistry. Madrono 38(2): 139-143.
    • Crum, H. 1992. A focus on peatlands and peat mosses. The University of Michigan Press, Ann Arbor. 306 pp.
    • Dorn, R.D. 2010. The genus Salix in North America north of Mexico. 59 pp.
    • Hansen, P., K. Boggs, R. Pfister, and J. Joy. 1990. Classification and management of riparian and wetland sites in central and eastern Montana. University of Montana, Montana Forest and Conservation Experiment Station, School of Forestry, Missoula. 279 pp. Draft Version 2.
    • Hansen, P., S. Chadde, R. Pfister, J. Joy, D. Svoboda, J. Pierce, and L. Myers. 1988. Riparian site types, habitat types, and community types of southwestern Montana. Missoula, MT: University of Montana, Montana Riparian Association, School of Forestry. 140 p. Draft Version 1.
    • Heinselman, M. L. 1970. Landscape evolution, peatland types, and the environment in Lake Agassiz Peatlands Natural Area, Minnesota. Ecological Monographs 40(2): 235-261.
    • Johnson, F. D., and S. J. Brunsfeld. 1983. Noteworthy collections: Idaho. Madrono 30: 259.
    • Johnston, Barry, C. 1987. Establishment report: Swamp Lake Botanical Area, Shoshone National Forest, Park County, Wyoming. USDA Forest Service, Shoshone National Forest, Cody, WY. 9 pp.
    • Kershaw, K. A. 1974. Studies on lichen-dominated systems. X. The sedge meadows of the coastal raised beaches. Canadian Journal of Botany 52: 1947-1972.
    • Larson, G. E., and W. T. Barker. 1978. The genus Salix in North Dakota. Proceedings of the North Dakota Academy of Science. 32(1): 15. Conference paper.
    • Lesica, P. 1986. Vegetation and flora of Pine Butte fen, Teton County, Montana. The Great Basin Naturalist 46(1): 22-32.
    • Lesica, P., M.T. Lavin, and P.F. Stickney. 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. Fort Worth, TX: BRIT Press. viii + 771 p.
    • Moseley, R. K. 1989. Field investigations of 16 rare plant taxa occurring in wetlands on the Bonners Ferry Ranger District, Idaho Panhandle National Forest. Idaho Department of Fish and Game, Conservation Data Center, Boise. 75 pp. plus appendices.
    • Moseley, R. K. 1990. Field investigations of eight rare plant taxa occurring in wetlands on the Sandpoint Ranger District, Idaho Panhandle National Forests. Idaho Department of Fish and Game, Conservation Data Center, Boise. 42 pp. plus appendices.
    • Moseley, R. K., R. J. Bursik, and M. Manusco. 1991. Floristic inventory of wetlands in Fremont and Teton counties, Idaho. Unpublished report on file IDCDC Department of Fish & Game, Boise, ID. 60 pp.
    • Nekola, J. C. 1990. Rare Iowa plant notes from the R. V. Drexler Herbarium. Journal of the Iowa Academy of Science 97(1): 55-73.
    • Porter, C. L. 1967. A flora of Wyoming Part V. Ag. Exp. Sta., U. of Wyo., Laramie. Res. Jour. 14.
    • Slack, N. G., D. H. Vitt, and D. G. Horton. 1980. Vegetation gradients of minerotrophically rich fens in western Alberta. Canadian Journal of Botany 58: 330-350.
    • Weatherbee, Pamela B. 1991. Calcareous habitats and their plant communities. Wild Flower Notes [a publication of the New England Wild Flower Society Inc.]. 6(1): 14-18.
    • Wilken, D., W. Harmon, C. Feddema, and H. Harrington. 1978. Distributional records for the Colorado flora. Great Plains Naturalist 38(2): 208-210.
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Citation for data on this website:
Hoary Willow — Salix candida.  Montana Field Guide.  .  Retrieved on , from