Salix sitchensis Sanson ex Bong.
Sitka willow
Salicaceae (Willow family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants


© Jim Riley     (Photo ID #15419)


E-Flora BC Static Map

Distribution of Salix sitchensis
Click here to view the full interactive map and legend

Species Information

Dioecious shrubs or trees, 1-8 m tall, not colonial; branches erect, flexible at base; twigs yellow- to red-brown, densely hairy.
Alternate, simple, elliptic to lance- or egg-shaped, 3-12 cm long, 1.7-5 cm wide, lower surface very densely silky, satiny, or woolly, hairs white, upper surface dull, sparsely long soft-hairy to nearly smooth, margins entire or toothed, bases pointed, tips rounded to pointed; leaf stalks without glandular dots at top; stipules leaflike or rudimentary.
Unisexual, lacking sepals and petals, borne in catkins which flower as leaves emerge or just before them, the catkins slender to stout, on leafy twigs; floral bracts pale or dark, hairs straight or wavy; stamens 1; ovaries 1, hairy; styles 0.4-0.8 mm long.
Capsules which split open to release the seeds, each of which is surrounded by a tuft of hairs; stalks 0.4-1.4 mm long.

SourceThe Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


If more than one illustration is available for a species (e.g., separate illustrations were provided for two subspecies) then links to the separate images will be provided below. Note that individual subspecies or varietal illustrations are not always available.


Ecological Framework for Salix sitchensis

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)
687 0 2300
Slope Gradient (%)
8 0 85

Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]

208 5 360
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
5 0 8
Modal Nutrient Regime
# of field plots
 species was recorded in:
Modal BEC Zone Class

All BEC Zones (# of stations/zone) species was recorded in

AT(2), BAFA(1), BWBS(2), CDF(36), CWH(229), ESSF(74), ICH(132), IDF(13), MH(28), MS(23), PP(1), SBS(122), SWB(1)

Habitat and Range

Moist to mesic thickets, floodplains, lakeshores, avalanche tracks, clearings and forest margins in the lowland and montane zones; common in S BC south of 56degreeN, especially W of the Coast-Cascade Mountains, infrequent northward; N to S AK, E to AB and S to MT, ID and CA.

SourceThe Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Synonyms and Alternate Names:
Salix coulteri Anderss.
Salix cuneata Nutt.
Salix pellita var. angustifolia (Bebb) B. Boivin
Salix sitchensis var. angustifolia Bebb
Salix sitchensis var. congesta (Anderss.) Anderss.
Salix sitchensis var. denudata (Anderss.) Anderss.
Salix sitchensis var. parviflora (Jepson) Jepson
Salix sitchensis var. ralphiana (Jepson) Jepson