Salix scouleriana Barratt ex Hook.
Scouler's Willow, Western Pussy Willow
Salicaceae (Willow Family)
Synonym(s): Salix brachystachys, Salix brachystachys var. scouleriana, Salix capreoides, Salix flavescens, Salix flavescens var. capreoides, Salix flavescens var. scouleriana, Salix nuttallii, Salix nuttallii var. capreoides, Salix scouleriana var. brachystachys, Salix scouleriana var. coetanea, Salix scouleriana var. crassijulis, Salix scouleriana var. flavescens, Salix scouleriana var. poikila, Salix scouleriana var. thompsonii, Salix stagnalis
USDA Symbol: SASC
Scoulers willow or western pussy willow is a tall shrub or tree, growing to 30 ft., with dark green, broadly lance-shaped leaves clustered at the ends of the twigs. Stems are slender with gray-green bark. Silvery-gray, furry catkins appear before leaf emergence. Freshly stripped bark of twigs usually has skunklike odor.
This species is sometimes called Fire Willow because it rapidly occupies burned areas, forming blue-green thickets. A pussy willow and one of the earliest flowering species, it is an important browse plant for moose in Alaska and for sheep and cattle elsewhere. It is one of several species sometimes forming diamond willow; these stems with diamond-shaped patterns caused by fungi are in demand for canes, novelties, and furniture posts. It is named for its discoverer, John Scouler (1804-71), the Scottish naturalist and physician.
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Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial
Size Class: 12-36 ft.
Bloom InformationBloom Color: Yellow
Bloom Time: Mar , Apr
DistributionUSA: AK , AZ , CA , CO , ID , MT , NM , NV , OR , SD , UT , WA , WY
Canada: AB , BC , SK
Native Distribution: W. mt. regions from AK & Yukon to CA, AZ & NM; extends e. in Canada to Man. & occurs in the Black Hills
Native Habitat: Stream banks, sloughs & drier areas from low- to mid-elevations
Growing ConditionsWater Use: High
Light Requirement: Sun , Part Shade , Shade
Soil Moisture: Dry , Moist
CaCO3 Tolerance: High
Soil Description: Moist to drier soils.
Conditions Comments: Fast-growing.
BenefitConspicuous Flowers: yes
Value to Beneficial InsectsSpecial Value to Native Bees
This information was provided by the Pollinator Program at The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation.
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
Find Seed or Plants
Find seed sources for this species at the Native Seed Network.
View propagation protocol from Native Plants Network.
National Wetland Indicator Status
From the National Organizations DirectoryAccording to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:
Native Seed Network - Corvallis, OR
BibliographyBibref 841 - Native Alternatives to Invasive Plants (2006) Burrell, C. C.
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Additional resourcesUSDA: Find Salix scouleriana in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Salix scouleriana in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Salix scouleriana
MetadataRecord Modified: 2007-01-01
Research By: TWC Staff