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Salix taxifolia (Yewleaf willow)
Wasowski, Sally and Andy

Salix taxifolia

Salix taxifolia Kunth

Yewleaf Willow, Yew-leaf Willow, Yew Willow

Salicaceae (Willow Family)

Synonym(s): Salix taxifolia var. lejocarpa, Salix taxifolia var. limitanea, Salix taxifolia var. seriocarpa


USDA Native Status: L48 (N)

Large shrub or small to medium-sized tree with dense, rounded crown of erect and spreading branches, very small narrow leaves, and very short catkins.

Yewleaf Willow is easily recognized by the needlelike leaves, resembling those of yews (although not evergreen). This species has the smallest leaves of any tree willow. A good soil binder, it is fairly drought-resistant and is an excellent browse for livestock.


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Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Shrub , Tree
Leaf Retention: Deciduous
Leaf Arrangement: Alternate
Leaf Complexity: Simple
Leaf Shape: Lanceolate
Leaf Pubescence: Villose
Leaf Margin: Entire
Leaf Texture: Papery
Breeding System: Flowers Unisexual , Dioecious
Inflorescence: Catkin
Fruit Type: Capsule
Size Notes: 5-50 feet in height.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: White
Bloom Time: Mar , Apr , May , Jun


Native Distribution: Mexico border region from Trans-Pecos Texas, west of SE. Arizona, and, south to Guatemala; at 3500-6000' (1067-1829 m).
Native Habitat: Along streams in foothills and mountains; in oak woodlands, sometimes in deserts and desert grasslands.

Growing Conditions

Water Use: Medium , High
Light Requirement: Sun
Soil Moisture: Moist
Drought Tolerance: Medium


Interesting Foliage: yes
Attracts: Butterflies
Larval Host: Tiger Swallowtail, Viceroy, Mourning Cloak, Sylvan Hairstreak butterflies.

Value to Beneficial Insects

Special Value to Native Bees

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


Bibref 298 - Field Guide to Texas Trees (1999) Simpson, B.J.
Bibref 297 - Trees of Central Texas (1984) Vines, Robert A.

Search More Titles in Bibliography

Additional resources

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


Record Modified: 2015-11-05
Research By: TWC Staff

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