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Dioecious shrubs, 3-5 m tall, forming colonies by root shoots; branches erect, flexible at base; twigs red-brown, densely hairy.
Alternate, simple, linear to narrowly elliptic or narrowly lance-shaped, 4-12 cm long, 0.8-1.4 cm wide, lower surface not glaucous, silky or long soft-hairy, hairs white, upper surface dull, silky or long soft-hairy, margins remotely and minutely spiny-toothed, bases wedge-shaped to rounded, tips tapered; leaf stalks without glandular dots at top; stipules rudimentary or leaflike.
Unisexual, lacking sepals and petals, borne in catkins which flower as leaves emerge or throughout season, the catkins slender, on leafy twigs; floral bracts pale or dark, hairs wavy, female bracts deciduous; 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 0.2-0.7 mm long.
This species is distinguished from S. melanopsis by its long, slender stigmas (0.4-1 versus 0.2-0.5 mm long) and densely silky leaves.
Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia