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Salix arbusculoides (Littletree willow)
Weyand, Phyllis

Salix arbusculoides

Salix arbusculoides Andersson

Littletree Willow

Salicaceae (Willow Family)

Synonym(s): Salix acutifolia, Salix humillima, Salix humillima var. puberula, Salix saskatchevana

USDA Symbol: SAAR3

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

Upright shrub or commonly a small tree, often forming dense thickets, with shiny reddish-brown twigs.

Littletree Willow is widespread in interior Alaska and one of the most common willows there, forming dense thickets. The scientific name means "like a little tree." Except for a few shrubby willow species rarely attaining tree size, this and Feltleaf Willow (S. alaxensis) are the only tree species native in Alaska that are absent from the contiguous 48 states. It is one of several species sometimes producing "diamond willow"; these trunks with diamond-shaped patterns caused by fungi are prized for carving into canes.


From the Image Gallery

3 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Tree

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: Green , Brown
Bloom Time: Mar , Apr


Canada: ON , SK
Native Distribution: NW. Alaska east across NW. Canada to Kewatin, south to central Manitoba, and west to central British Columbia. Not in contiguous United States. To tree line and beyond to 4000' (1219 m).
Native Habitat: Along streams, also in upland sites; with Black Spruce after fires and with White Spruce and Paper Birch.

Growing Conditions

Light Requirement: Part Shade , Shade
Soil Moisture: Moist
Conditions Comments: Performs poorly in dry locations. Spreading crown and roots may compete with crops when planted in shelterbelts.

Value to Beneficial Insects

Special Value to Native Bees

This information was provided by the Pollinator Program at The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation.

National Wetland Indicator Status

Status: FACW
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.

Additional resources

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


Record Modified: 2012-07-17
Research By: TWC Staff

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