Salix eriocephala Michx.
Missouri River willow, Missouri willow, Stiff willow
Salicaceae (Willow Family)
Synonym(s): Salix acutidens, Salix angustata, Salix cordata, Salix cordata ssp. rigida, Salix cordata var. abrasa, Salix cordata var. angustata, Salix cordata var. missouriensis, Salix cordata var. rigida, Salix cordata var. rigida, Salix cordata var. rigida, Salix cordata var. vestita, Salix discolor var. eriocephala, Salix missouriensis, Salix myricoides var. angustata, Salix myricoides var. cordata, Salix myricoides var. rigida, Salix rigida, Salix rigida var. angustata, Salix rigida var. vestita, Salix torreyana
USDA Symbol: SAER
A narrow shrub or small tree to 20 ft. with multiple trunks and dark-gray, scaly bark. Lance-shaped leaves are thick and persistently pubescent beneath. Catkins, which appear before the leaves in early spring, are densely silky.
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Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial
Autumn Foliage: yes
Size Class: 12-36 ft.
Bloom InformationBloom Color: Green , Brown
Bloom Time: Feb , Mar
DistributionUSA: AL , AR , CT , DC , DE , FL , GA , IA , IL , IN , KS , KY , LA , MA , MD , ME , MI , MN , MO , ND , NE , NH , NJ , NY , OH , OK , PA , RI , SD , TN , VA , VT , WI , WV
Canada: NB , NS , ON , PE
Native Distribution: Nf. to Yukon, s. to VA, n. AR, KS, AZ & CA
Native Habitat: Banks of large streams; flood plains; wet meadows
Growing ConditionsWater Use: High
Light Requirement: Sun
Soil Moisture: Moist , Wet
CaCO3 Tolerance: Medium
Soil Description: Moist, sandy soils
Conditions Comments: Short-lived and fast-growing. Susceptible to insect, disease, and wind damage. *This species consists of about a half dozen varieties, some of which are sometimes treated at the specific level, including the western species S. mackenzieana, S. lutea & S. monochroma. Var. rigida is the typical species in the e. U.S. & Canada.
BenefitUse Medicinal: Heartleaf willow typically has silvery galls caused by small insects. In the past, galls were steeped to make a medicinal tea for stimulating urination and relieving fluid retention. (Kershaw)
Larval Host: Mourning Cloak
Value to Beneficial InsectsSpecial Value to Native Bees
This information was provided by the Pollinator Program at The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation.
Butterflies and Moths of North America (BAMONA)Salix eriocephala is a larval host and/or nectar source for:
Mourning Cloak |
Learn more at BAMONA
PropagationDescription: Willows are among the easiest of all plants to root from cuttings. Stem and root cuttings are used. Propagation is also accomplished by sowing fresh, untreated seed onto a moist seedbed. Seed viability lasts only a few days.
Seed Collection: Not Available
Seed Treatment: No treatment is necessary.
Commercially Avail: yes
BibliographyBibref 1186 - Field Guide to Moths of Eastern North America (2005) Covell, C.V., Jr.
Bibref 1185 - Field Guide to Western Butterflies (Peterson Field Guides) (1999) Opler, P.A. and A.B. Wright
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Recommended Species Lists
Find native plant species by state. Each list contains commercially available species suitable for gardens and planned landscapes. Once you have selected a collection, you can browse the collection or search within it using the combination search.View Recommended Species page
Additional resourcesUSDA: Find Salix eriocephala in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Salix eriocephala in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Salix eriocephala
MetadataRecord Modified: 2012-06-30
Research By: TWC Staff