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Salix eriocephala Michx.
Missouri River Willow, Missouri Willow, Stiff Willow
Salicaceae (Willow Family)
Synonym(s): Salix acutidens, Salix angustata, Salix cordata, Salix cordata ssp. rigida, Salix cordata var. abrasa, Salix cordata var. angustata, Salix cordata var. missouriensis, Salix cordata var. rigida, Salix cordata var. rigida, Salix cordata var. rigida, Salix cordata var. vestita, Salix discolor var. eriocephala, Salix missouriensis, Salix myricoides var. angustata, Salix myricoides var. cordata, Salix myricoides var. rigida, Salix rigida, Salix rigida var. angustata, Salix rigida var. vestita, Salix torreyana
USDA Symbol: saer
USDA Native Status: L48 (N), CAN (N)
A narrow shrub or small tree to 25 ft. with multiple trunks and dark-gray, scaly bark. Lance-shaped leaves are thick and persistently pubescent beneath. Catkins, which appear before the leaves in early spring, are densely silky.
From the Image Gallery
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial
Leaf Retention: Deciduous
Leaf Arrangement: Alternate
Leaf Complexity: Simple
Fruit Type: Capsule
Size Notes: Up to about 25 feet tall, often shorter.
Autumn Foliage: yes
Bloom InformationBloom Color: Green , Brown
Bloom Time: Feb , Mar , Apr , May , Jun
DistributionUSA: AL , AR , CT , DC , DE , FL , GA , IA , IL , IN , KS , KY , LA , MA , MD , ME , MI , MN , MO , ND , NE , NH , NJ , NY , OH , OK , PA , RI , SD , TN , VA , VT , WI , WV
Canada: NB , NS , ON , PE
Native Distribution: Nf. to Yukon, s. to VA, n. AR, KS, AZ & CA
Native Habitat: Banks of large streams; flood plains; wet meadows
Growing ConditionsWater Use: High
Light Requirement: Sun
Soil Moisture: Moist , Wet
CaCO3 Tolerance: Medium
Soil Description: Moist, sandy soils
Conditions Comments: Short-lived and fast-growing. Susceptible to insect, disease, and wind damage. *This species consists of about a half dozen varieties, some of which are sometimes treated at the specific level, including the western species S. mackenzieana, S. lutea & S. monochroma. Var. rigida is the typical species in the e. U.S. & Canada.
BenefitUse Medicinal: Heartleaf willow typically has silvery galls caused by small insects. In the past, galls were steeped to make a medicinal tea for stimulating urination and relieving fluid retention. (Kershaw)
Larval Host: Mourning Cloak
Value to Beneficial InsectsSpecial 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)
Mourning Cloak |
Learn more at BAMONA
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 Treatment: No treatment is necessary.
Commercially Avail: yes
National Wetland Indicator Status
BibliographyBibref 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 ReferenceWebref 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 resourcesUSDA: Find Salix eriocephala in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Salix eriocephala in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Salix eriocephala
MetadataRecord Modified: 2023-05-16
Research By: TWC Staff