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

Salix glauca L.
grey-leaved willow (grayleaf willow)
Salicaceae (Willow family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Jamie Fenneman  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #17035)

E-Flora BC Static Map
Distribution of Salix glauca
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, 0.3-3 (-6) m tall, not colonial, erect or decumbent; branches erect, flexible at base; twigs red- to yellow-brown, sparsely to densely hairy.
Alternate, simple, narrowly elliptic to lance- to egg-shaped, 3-8 cm long, 1-4 cm wide, lower surface glaucous, long soft-woolly, silky or sparsely long soft-hairy, often becoming nearly smooth, hairs white, upper surface shiny, long soft-hairy or sparsely long soft-hairy to nearly smooth, entire, bases pointed to rounded, tips pointed; leaf stalks without glandular dots at top; stipules leaflike or rudimentary.
Unisexual, lacking sepals and petals, borne in catkins which flower as leaves emerge, the catkins stout, on leafy twigs; floral bracts pale, hairs wavy; stamens 2; ovaries 1, hairy; styles 0.3-1.4 mm long.
Capsules which split open to release the seeds, each of which is surrounded by a tuft of hairs; stalks 0.3-2.8 mm long.
The varieties villosa and acutifolia intergrade in northern BC where they overlap in the Haines Road region. They both sometimes appear to hybridize with S. arctica.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

USDA Species Characteristics

Flower Colour:
Blooming Period:
Early Summer
Fruit/Seed characteristics:
Colour: Red
Present over the Summer
Source:  The USDA

Habitat / Range

Wet to mesic thickets, fens, swamps, streambanks and forest openings from the montane to alpine zones; common throughout BC east of the Coast-Cascade Mountains (var. villosa) and locally frequent (var. acutifolia) in NW BC; circumpolar, var. acutifolia - N to AK and NT, var. villosa - N to YT and NT, E to NF, S to UT, NM and WA; Greenland, Eurasia.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Ecological Framework for Salix glauca

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) 6 1292 2459
Slope Gradient (%) 0 14 95
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
0 59 360
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
0 4 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(17), BAFA(40), BWBS(165), CWH(5), ESSF(122), ICH(12), IDF(58), MS(54), SBPS(99), SBS(71), SWB(186)


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


Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References