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

Salix arbusculoides Andersson
northern bush willow (littletree willow; little-tree willow)
Salicaceae (Willow family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Jamie Fenneman  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #29845)

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Distribution of Salix arbusculoides
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Species Information

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Dioecious shrubs to trees, 1-6 m tall, not colonial; branches erect, flexible at base; twigs red-brown, smooth to sparsely hairy.
Alternate, simple, very narrowly elliptic to elliptic, 4-8 cm long, 0.7-2 cm wide, lower surface glaucous, long-silky, hairs white and rust-coloured, upper surface highly glossy or shiny, smooth, margins toothed, bases and tips pointed; leaf stalks without glandular dots at top; stipules leaflike.
Unisexual, lacking sepals and petals, borne in catkins which flower as leaves emerge or just before, stout, unstalked, floral bracts pale or dark, hairs straight or wavy; stamens 2; ovaries 1, hairy; styles 0.3-0.5 mm long.
Capsules which split open to release the seeds, each of which is surrounded by a tuft of hairs; stalks 0.6-0.9 mm long.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

USDA Species Characteristics

Flower Colour:
Blooming Period:
Late Spring
Fruit/Seed characteristics:
Colour: Black
Present from Summer to Fall
Source:  The USDA

Habitat / Range

Moist to mesic sedge fens, openings in spruce forests and lake shores in the montane and subalpine zones; common in N BC, rare in S BC; N to AK, YT and S NT and E to PQ.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Ecological Framework for Salix arbusculoides

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) 390 906 1860
Slope Gradient (%) 0 4 50
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
20 247 360
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
3 6 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: BWBS(33), ESSF(8), ICH(1), IDF(7), MH(2), MS(2), SBPS(5), SBS(3), SWB(9)


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 acutifolia auct. non Hook.
Salix humillima Andersson
Salix humillima var. puberula (Andersson) Andersson
Salix saskatchevana Seemen

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References