E-Flora BC: Electronic Atlas of the Flora of British Columbia

Salix commutata Bebb
under-green willow (undergreen willow)
Salicaceae (Willow family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Jamie Fenneman  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #17032)

E-Flora BC Static Map
Distribution of Salix commutata
Click here to view the full interactive map and legend
Details about map content are available here
Click on the map dots to view record details.

Species Information

Click on the image below to view an expanded illustration for this species.

Dioecious shrubs, 0.2-3 m tall, not colonial; branches erect, flexible at base; twigs yellowish to red-brown, sparsely to densely hairy.
Alternate, simple, narrowly oblong to broadly elliptic, 1-10 cm long, 0.5-4.4 cm wide, lower surface not glaucous, smooth or short-woolly to long soft-hairy or nearly smooth, hairs white, upper surface dull, smooth or long soft-hairy to nearly smooth, margins entire to toothed, bases rounded to heart-shaped, tips pointed to tapered; leaf stalks without glandular dots at top; stipules leaflike.
Unisexual, lacking sepals and petals, borne in catkins which flower as leaves emerge, the catkins stout, on leafy twigs; floral bracts dark or pale, hairs straight or wavy; stamens 2; ovaries 1, smooth or rarely hairy; styles 0.5-1.5 mm long.
Capsules which split open to release the seeds, each of which is surrounded by a tuft of hairs; stalks 0.3-2 mm long.
This species has been reported to hybridize with S. barclayi.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

USDA Species Characteristics

Blooming Period:
Late Spring
Fruit/Seed characteristics:
Colour: Brown
Present from Spring to Summer
Source:  The USDA

Habitat / Range

Wet to moist thickets, lakeshores, gravelly streambanks, floodplains, river terraces, open forests and raw morainal deposits in the subalpine to alpine zones; frequent throughout BC; N to AK and W NT, E to AB, S to MT, ID and OR.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Ecological Framework for Salix commutata

The table below shows the species-specific information calculated from
original data (BEC database) provided by the BC Ministry of Forests and Range.
(Updated August, 2013)

Site Information
Value / Class




Elevation (metres) 120 1519 2435
Slope Gradient (%) 0 10 78
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
0 234 360
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
1 5 8
Modal Nutrient Regime
Number of field plots
 species was recorded in:
Modal BEC Zone Class
All BEC Zones (# of stations/zone) species was recorded in: AT(6), BAFA(6), BWBS(5), CWH(1), ESSF(131), ICH(7), IDF(3), IMA(1), MH(22), MS(9), SBS(7), SWB(8)


The climate type for this species, as reported in the: "British Columbia plant species codes and selected attributes. Version 6 Database" (Meidinger et al. 2008), is not evaluated, unknown or variable.

Synonyms and Alternate Names

Salix barclayi var. commutata (Bebb) L. Kelso
Salix commutata var. denudata Bebb
Salix commutata var. mixta Piper
Salix commutata var. puberula Bebb
Salix commutata var. sericea Bebb

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References