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

Salix polaris Wahlenb.
polar willow
Salicaceae (Willow family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Hans Roemer  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #22999)

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

Species Information

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



General:
Dwarf shrubs, 1-9 cm tall, forming rhizomatous mats; branches erect, flexible at base, weakly to strongly glaucous; twigs brownish, smooth.
Leaves:
Alternate, simple, elliptic to egg-shaped or nearly circular, 0.5-3.2 cm long, 0.8-1.8 cm wide, lower surface not glaucous, smooth or hairy, hairs white; upper surface shiny, smooth, margins entire, bases and tips pointed to rounded; leaf stalks without glandular dots at top; stipules absent or rudimentary.
Flowers:
Unisexual, lacking sepals and petals, borne in catkins which flower as leaves emerge, the catkins stout, on leafy twigs; floral bracts dark, smooth or hairy, hairs straight or wavy; stamens 2; ovaries 1, hairy; styles 0.7-1.6 mm long.
Fruits:
Capsules which split open to release the seeds, each of which is surrounded by a tuft of hairs; stalks 0.2-0.7 mm long.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

USDA Species Characteristics

Flower Colour:
Purple
Blooming Period:
Spring
Source:  The USDA

Habitat / Range

Moist late snowbed and snowflush areas and scree slopes in the upper subalpine and alpine zones; common in N BC; circumpolar, N to AK, YT and NT.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Ecology

Ecological Framework for Salix polaris

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

Minimum

Average

Maximum

Elevation (metres) 5 1691 2440
Slope Gradient (%) 0 15 300
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
0 70 360
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
0 3 8
Modal Nutrient Regime
Class
C
Number of field plots
 species was recorded in:
324
Modal BEC Zone Class
BAFA
All BEC Zones (# of stations/zone) species was recorded in: BAFA(280), ESSF(21), IMA(3), MH(1), SWB(13)

Climate

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 polaris subsp. pseudopolaris (Flod.) Hult╬śn
Salix polaris var. glabrata HultTn
Salix polaris var. selwynensis Raup
Salix pseudopolaris Flod.

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

Related Databases

General References