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Salix lucida

Salix lucida Muhl.

Shining Willow

Salicaceae (Willow Family)


USDA Symbol: salu

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

A broad shrub, shining willow grows 12-20 ft. tall, with a pyramidal form. Upright, spreading, fine-textured branches occur from a short trunk. Bark is smooth and reddish-brown. Shining willow’s finest characteristic is its smooth, glossy leaves that simmer in the sun. Fall color is a fairly insignificant yellow. Spring branches are densely flowered with green catkins.


From the Image Gallery

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Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Shrub
Leaf Retention: Deciduous
Leaf Arrangement: Alternate
Leaf Complexity: Simple
Fruit Type: Capsule
Size Notes: Up to about 20 feet tall.
Leaf: Yellow-Green
Fruit: Brown

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: Yellow
Bloom Time: Apr , May , Jun , Jul


USA: AK , AZ , CA , CO , CT , DE , IA , ID , IL , IN , KS , MA , MD , ME , MI , MN , MT , ND , NH , NJ , NM , NV , NY , OH , OR , PA , RI , SD , UT , VA , VT , WA , WI , WV , WY
Canada: AB , MB , NB , NL , NS , NT , ON , PE , QC , SK , YT
Native Distribution: Lab. to n. Man., s. to VA, OH, n. IL & n. ND; also Black Hills & extreme e. CO
Native Habitat: Steam & swamp banks; fens; beaches; met meadows; mud flats

Growing Conditions

Water Use: High
Light Requirement: Sun , Part Shade , Shade
Soil Moisture: Moist , Wet
Soil pH: Circumneutral (pH 6.8-7.2)
CaCO3 Tolerance: Medium
Soil Description: Any poorly drained, wet soil.
Conditions Comments: Willows are brittle, with aggressive roots that exploit the moisture found in drains and sewers. They are fast-growing, short-lived, and prone to disease and insect damage. Disperses seed as a fluff seen in June


Use Wildlife: Very popular, especially early in the season, with birds and small mammals.
Attracts: Butterflies
Larval Host: Mourning Cloak, Acadian Hairsteaks, Admirals

Value to Beneficial Insects

Special 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
(Nymphalis antiopa)

Larval Host
Learn more at BAMONA

Find Seed or Plants

Find seed sources for this species at the Native Seed Network.

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.

From the National Organizations Directory

According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:

Native Seed Network - Corvallis, OR


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.
Webref 23 - Southwest Environmental Information Network (2009) SEINet - Arizona Chapter

Additional resources

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


Record Modified: 2023-05-16
Research By: TWC Staff

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