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

Salix scouleriana Barratt ex Hook.
Scouler's willow (mountain willow)
Salicaceae (Willow family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Curtis Bjork  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #15916)

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

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Dioecious shrubs or trees, 3-20 m tall, not colonial; branches erect, flexible at base; twigs yellow-green to yellow-brown, sparsely to densely velvety-hairy.
Alternate, simple, narrowly elliptic to lance- or egg-shaped, 3-8.5 cm long, 1-3.6 cm wide, lower surface glaucous, silky to woolly hairy, becoming sparsely so, hairs white and rust-coloured, upper surface shiny, sparsely long soft-hairy becoming nearly smooth, midrib remaining hairy, margins entire or toothed, bases and tips pointed to rounded; leaf stalks without glandular dots at top; stipules leaflike.
Unisexual, lacking sepals and petals, borne in catkins which flower before leaves emerge, the catkins stout, unstalked; floral bracts dark or pale, hairs straight; stamens 2; ovaries 1, hairy; styles 0.2-0.6 mm long.
Capsules which split open to release the seeds, each of which is surrounded by a tuft of hairs; stalks 0.8-2.3 mm long.
The lower leaf surface in this species displays 2 radically different forms of hairiness. Most commonly it has a sparse mixture of short, appressed, rust-coloured or white hairs, but forms that are densely woolly with long, wavy, erect to spreading, white hairs may occur in the same population. Both forms have velvety leaf stalks and twigs.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

USDA Species Characteristics

Flower Colour:
Blooming Period:
Early Spring
Fruit/Seed characteristics:
Colour: Brown
Present over the Spring
Source:  The USDA

Habitat / Range

Dry to moist open forests, thickets, clearings and edges of rivers and lakes in the lowland, steppe and montane zones; common throughout BC; N to AK, YT and NT, E to SK and S to SD, AZ, NM, and CA.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Ecological Framework for Salix scouleriana

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) 5 955 2370
Slope Gradient (%) 0 21 262
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
0 188 360
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
0 3 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: AT(1), BAFA(1), BG(5), BWBS(301), CDF(7), CWH(164), ESSF(184), ICH(335), IDF(213), IMA(1), MH(3), MS(193), PP(5), SBPS(59), SBS(492), SWB(63)

Ecological Indicator Information

Shade-intolerant deciduous shrub, distributed equally in the Pacific and Cordilleran regions (and marginally in the Central region) within boreal, temperate and cool mesothermal climates. Occurs on nitrogen-medium soils in early stages of primary and secondary succession. Grows in a wide range of soil moisture regimes and may hinder natural regeneration and growth of shade-intolerant conifers.

SourceIndicator Plants of Coastal British Columbia (Information applies to coastal locations only)


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 brachystachys Benth.
Salix brachystachys var. scouleriana (Barratt ex Hook.) Anderss.
Salix capreoides Anderss.
Salix flavescens Nutt.
Salix flavescens var. capreoides (Anderss.) Bebb
Salix flavescens var. scouleriana (Barratt ex Hook.) Bebb
Salix nuttallii Sarg.
Salix nuttallii var. capreoides (Anderss.) Sarg.
Salix scouleriana
Salix scouleriana var. brachystachys (Benth.) M.E. Jones
Salix scouleriana var. coetanea C.R. Ball
Salix scouleriana var. crassijulis (Anderss.) Schneid.
Salix scouleriana var. flavescens (Nutt.) J.K. Henry
Salix scouleriana var. poikila Schneid.
Salix scouleriana var. thompsonii Ball
Salix stagnalis Nutt.

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References