Crack Willow - Salix fragilis
Hybrid White Willow, Brittle Willow,
Salix x rubens
Tree or large shrub to 25 m. Twigs tan, pubescent. Leaf blades 3–10 cm long, narrowly lanceolate with serrate margins, glabrous to sparsely hairy, glaucous below. Female catkins 2–8 cm long, emerging with the leaves on leafy branchlets 1–3 cm long; scales pale, long-hairy, deciduous. Capsules 3–5 mm long, glabrous; stipes 0.5–1 mm long; styles ca. 0.5 mm long (Lesica 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX)
The identity of our common, naturalized tree willow has been the source of taxonomic and nomenclatural confusion. Most, if not all of our specimens may be hybrids between Salix fragilis and Salix alba or Salix alba and Salix euxina. The name Salix x rubens is sometimes applied to these hybrids (Dorn 2010, Argus 2010).
Introduced to much of temperate North America; native to Eurasia and cultivated as an ornamental or for wildlife habitat (Lesica 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX).
Observations in Montana Natural Heritage Program Database
Number of Observations:
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Map Help and Descriptions
(Observations spanning multiple months or years are excluded from time charts)
Along rivers, streams, around ponds, lakes, wetlands, roads; plains, valleys (Lesica 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX)
- 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. 2010. The genus Salix in North America north of Mexico. 59 pp.
- Lesica, P., M. T. Lavin, and P. F. Stickney. 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. Fort Worth, TX: BRIT Press. viii + 771 p.
- Little, E.L., Jr. 1979. Checklist of United States trees (native and naturalized). Agriculture Handbook No. 541. U.S. Forest Service, Washington, D.C. 375 pp.