Host an Event Volunteer Join Tickets

Support the plant database you love!


Plant Database

Search for native plants by scientific name, common name or family. If you are not sure what you are looking for, try the Combination Search or our Recommended Species lists.

Enter a Plant Name:
Or you can choose a plant family:
Salix arctica (Arctic willow)
Smith, R.W.

Salix arctica

Salix arctica Pall.

Arctic Willow

Salicaceae (Willow Family)

Synonym(s): Salix anglorum, Salix anglorum var. antiplasta, Salix anglorum var. araioclada, Salix anglorum var. kophophylla, Salix arctica, Salix arctica ssp. crassijulis, Salix arctica ssp. tortulosa, Salix arctica var. antiplasta, Salix arctica var. araioclada, Salix arctica var. brownei, Salix arctica var. kophophylla, Salix arctica var. pallasii, Salix arctica var. tortulosa, Salix brownei, Salix crassijulis, Salix hudsonensis, Salix pallasii, Salix pallasii var. crassijulis, Salix tortulosa

USDA Symbol: SAAR27

USDA Native Status: L48 (N), AK (N), CAN (N), GL (N)

A tiny, ground-hugging willow forming loose mats seldom more than 4 in. high. The dainty, pale-green foliage appears at the same time the large, erect catkins appear. Female catkins are easily recognized by their bright red anthers.


From the Image Gallery

1 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Shrub
Leaf Retention: Deciduous
Leaf Arrangement: Alternate
Leaf Complexity: Simple
Fruit Type: Capsule
Size Notes: Up to about 10 inches tall, often shorter.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: Red , Yellow
Bloom Time: Jun , Jul , Aug


USA: AK , ID , MT , OR , VT , WA
Canada: AB , BC , ON
Native Distribution: Circumboreal, s. in N. America to Que. & scattered in w. mts.
Native Habitat: Meadows & open slopes; near & above timberline in mts.

Growing Conditions

Light Requirement: Sun
Soil Moisture: Moist
Soil Description: Moist to drier, gravelly soil.

Value to Beneficial Insects

Special 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)

Dingy Fritillary
(Boloria improba)

Larval Host
Learn more at BAMONA


Description: 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 Treatment: No treatment is necessary.
Commercially Avail: yes

Find Seed or Plants

View propagation protocol from Native Plants Network.

National Wetland Indicator Status

This information is derived from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers National Wetland Plant List, Version 3.1 (Lichvar, R.W. 2013. The National Wetland Plant List: 2013 wetland ratings. Phytoneuron 2013-49: 1-241). Click here for map of regions.


Bibref 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

Search More Titles in Bibliography

Web Reference

Webref 38 - Flora of North America (2019) Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO & Harvard University Herbaria, Cambridge, MA.
Webref 23 - Southwest Environmental Information Network (2009) SEINet - Arizona Chapter

Additional resources

USDA: Find Salix arctica in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Salix arctica in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Salix arctica


Record Modified: 2023-02-24
Research By: TWC Staff

Go back