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

Salix stolonifera Coville
creeping willow (sprouting leaf willow)
Salicaceae (Willow family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Virginia Skilton  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #81091)

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Distribution of Salix stolonifera
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Species Information

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Dwarf shrubs, 2-9 cm tall, forming rhizomatous mats; branches trailing or erect, flexible at base; twigs brownish, smooth.
Alternate, simple, elliptic to nearly circular, 1.6-4.2 cm long, 1.2-3.8 cm wide, lower surface glaucous, hairy; becoming nearly smooth, hairs white, upper surface highly glossy, smooth or margin fringed with long hairs, margins entire or toothed, bases rounded to pointed, tips rounded or notched; leaf stalks without glandular dots at top; stipules rudimentary.
Unisexual, lacking sepals and petals, borne in catkins which flower as leaves emerge, the catkins stout to globe-shaped, on leafy twigs; floral bracts dark, hairs straight or wavy; stamens 2; ovaries 1, smooth or hairy on beak; styles 0.6-1.6 mm long.
Capsules which split open to release the seeds, each of which is surrounded by a tuft of hairs; stalks 0.2-0.8 mm long.
This species hybridizes with S. arctica and S. barclayi.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Habitat / Range

Moist meadows in the alpine zone; frequent in NW BC; N to AK and YT and E to AB.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Ecological Framework for Salix stolonifera

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) 915 1661 2095
Slope Gradient (%) 0 19 65
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
0 248 360
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(84), BWBS(1), cma(6), ESSF(15), MH(1), SBS(1), SWB(11)


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.

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

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General References