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

Salix vestita Pursh
rock willow
Salicaceae (Willow family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Bryan Kelly-McArthur  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #73203)

E-Flora BC Static Map
Distribution of Salix vestita
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Species Information

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Dioecious shrubs, 0.2-1.5 m tall, not colonial; branches erect, flexible at base; twigs yellow- to grey-brown, sparsely to densely hairy.
Alternate, simple, leathery, broadly elliptic to egg-shaped, 2-7 cm long, 1-4 cm wide, lower surface glaucous, long soft-hairy or veins with long straight hairs, hairs white, upper surface shiny, deeply impressed veiny, smooth or silky, margins entire or toothed, bases rounded, tips rounded or notched; leaf stalks with or without dark, glandular dots at top; stipules rudimentary.
Unisexual, lacking sepals and petals, borne in catkins which flower as leaves emerge, the catkins slender, on leafy twigs; floral bracts pale, hairs straight; stamens 2; ovaries 1, hairy; styles 0.2-0.4 mm long.
Capsules which split open to release the seeds, each of which is surrounded by a tuft of hairs; stalks 0.4-1.2 mm long.
In this species the vegetative twigs almost always terminate in a catkin.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Habitat / Range

Moist to dry open forests and rocky streamsides in the upper montane and subalpine zones, rarely in the alpine zone; locally common in extreme E BC, less common westward; E to AB and disjunct in N MB to NS and NF and S to MT and OR.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Ecological Framework for Salix vestita

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) 97 1863 2550
Slope Gradient (%) 0 31 99
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
0 6 360
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
0 3 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(4), BAFA(1), BWBS(2), ESSF(65), ICH(4), IMA(1), MS(2), SWB(5)


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 fernaldii Blank.
Salix leiolepis Fernald
Salix reticulata var. vestita (Pursh) Andersson
Salix vestita subsp. leiolepis (Fernald) Argus
Salix vestita var. erecta Andersson
Salix vestita var. humilior Andersson
Salix vestita var. psilophylla Fernald & H. St. John

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References