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Salix bebbiana (Bebb willow)
Beckers, Eric

Salix bebbiana

Salix bebbiana Sarg.

Bebb Willow, Gray Willow, Long-beaked Willow

Salicaceae (Willow Family)

Synonym(s): Salix bebbiana var. capreifolia, Salix bebbiana var. depilis, Salix bebbiana var. luxurians, Salix bebbiana var. perrostrata, Salix bebbiana var. projecta, Salix depressa ssp. rostrata, Salix livida var. occidentalis, Salix livida var. rostrata, Salix perrostrata, Salix rostrata, Salix rostrata var. capreifolia, Salix rostrata var. luxurians, Salix rostrata var. perrostrata, Salix rostrata var. projecta, Salix starkeana ssp. bebbiana, Salix vagans var. occidentalis, Salix vagans var. rostrata

USDA Symbol: sabe2

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

A narrow, somewhat columnar-shaped shrub or small tree, 20-30 ft. tall. The single or multiple trunks have maroonish bark. Catkins appear before the silvery-gray foliage emerges. Fall color is insignificant.

Bebb Willow is the most important "diamond willow," a term applied to several species which sometimes have diamond-shaped patterns on their trunks. These are caused by fungi, usually in shade or poor sites. The contrasting whitish and brownish stems are carved into canes, lamps, posts, furniture, and candleholders. Forms willow thickets as a weed on uplands after forest fires. Named for Michael Schuck Bebb (1833-95), U.S. specialist on willows.


From the Image Gallery

15 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 30 feet tall.
Fruit: Brown

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: White , Green , Brown
Bloom Time: Apr , May , Jun


USA: AK , AZ , CA , CO , CT , IA , ID , IL , IN , MA , MD , ME , MI , MN , MT , ND , NE , NH , NJ , NM , NV , NY , OH , OR , PA , RI , SD , UT , VT , WA , WI , WY
Canada: AB , BC , MB , NB , NL , NS , NT , ON , PE , QC , SK , YT
Native Distribution: Nf. to AK, s. to DE, n. IN, n.e. IA, n.e. SD, ID & e. OR; also Rocky Mts.
Native Habitat: Wet lowlands; lake & stream edges; drier, upland sites

Growing Conditions

Light Requirement: Sun , Part Shade , Shade
Soil Moisture: Moist , Wet
Soil Description: Wet or damp soils.
Conditions Comments: Short-lived and fast-growing. Susceptible to insect, disease, and wind damage.


Use Wildlife: Valuable to songbirds, waterfowl and small mammals.
Attracts: Butterflies
Larval Host: Mourning Cloak, Viceroy

Value to Beneficial Insects

Special Value to Native Bees
Special Value to Honey Bees

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

Butterflies and Moths of North America (BAMONA)

Mourning Cloak
(Nymphalis antiopa)

Larval Host
Learn more at BAMONA
(Limenitis archippus)

Larval Host
Learn more at BAMONA

Find Seed or Plants

View propagation protocol from Native Plants Network.

Mr. Smarty Plants says

Decline in willow tree in West Virginia
June 15, 2008
I planted a willow tree about three years ago and it was progressing just beautifully with full leaves this spring in a nice green color. We staked it back about three weeks so it would grow straight...
view the full question and answer

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.

Additional resources

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


Record Modified: 2022-10-11
Research By: TWC Staff

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