General: 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.
Leaves: 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.
Flowers: 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.
Fruits: Capsules which split open to release the seeds, each of which is surrounded by a tuft of hairs; stalks 0-0.4 mm long.
Notes: 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
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.
Recommended citation: Author, Date. Page title. In Klinkenberg, Brian. (Editor) 2019. E-Flora BC:
Electronic Atlas of the Plants of British Columbia [eflora.bc.ca]. Lab for
Advanced Spatial Analysis, Department of Geography, University of British
Columbia, Vancouver. [Accessed:
2020-02-19 8:59:30 PM
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