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

Salix alaxensis (Andersson) Coville
Alaska willow (feltleaf willow; felt-leaf willow)
Salicaceae (Willow family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Hans Roemer  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #22997)

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

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Dioecious shrubs or trees, 1-6 m tall, not colonial; branches erect, sometimes gnarled and semi-prostrate, flexible at base; twigs brownish, strongly glaucous or not, smooth or densely hairy.
Alternate, simple, broadly oblong to elliptic to broadly egg-shaped, 5-11 cm long, 1-3.5 cm wide, lower surface long-soft-woolly, hairs white, upper surface dull, long soft-hairy to nearly smooth, margins entire or toothed, bases and tips pointed; leaf stalks without glandular dots at top; stipules leaflike.
Unisexual, lacking sepals and petals, borne in catkins which flower before leaves emerge, the catkins slender to stout, unstalked; floral bracts dark, hairs straight; stamens 2; ovaries 1, hairy; styles 1.3-2.8 mm long.
Capsules which split open to release the seeds, each of which is surrounded by a tuft of hairs; stalks 0-0.4 mm long.
Two varieties occur in BC:

1. Twigs not glaucous, densely hairy............... var. alaxensis

1. Twigs strongly glaucous, sparsely hairy or smooth............. var. longistylis (Rydb.) C. K. Schneider

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Habitat / Range

Wet meadows and thickets in the alpine and subalpine zones (var. alaxensis); moist to mesic talus slopes, forest openings, gravel floodplains, outwash fans, lakeshores and raw morainal deposits in the montane to alpine zones (var. longistylis); var. alaxensis frequent in N and EC BC; amphiberingian - N to AK, YT and NT and E to S AB, MB and PQ; E Asia; var. longistylis - N to AK, YT and W NT.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Ecological Framework for Salix alaxensis

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) 20 971 2200
Slope Gradient (%) 0 13 78
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
10 189 338
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: BAFA(5), BWBS(14), CWH(3), ESSF(12), MH(18), SWB(6)


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 alaxensis var. silicicola (Raup) B. Boivin

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

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General References