Salix amygdaloides Anderss.
Family: Salicaceae
peachleaf willow,  more...
[Salix amygdaloides var. wrightii (Anderss.) Schneid.,  more]
Salix amygdaloides image
Trees, 4-20 m. Stems: branches flexible to ± brittle at base, yellow to gray-brown, glabrous; branchlets yellow-brown, gray-brown, or red-brown, glabrous. Leaves: stipules absent or rudimentary on early ones, foliaceous or rudimentary on late ones, apex rounded; petiole (margins covering groove, not glandular or with spherical glands distally), 7-21 mm, glabrous or puberulent adaxially; largest medial blade (sometimes amphistomatous), very narrowly elliptic, elliptic, lanceolate, or lorate, 55-130 × 24-37 mm, 2.8-6 times as long as wide, base convex, cuneate, or cordate, margins serrulate, apex acuminate to caudate, abaxial surface glaucous, glabrous, adaxial dull, glabrous or sparsely pubescent along midrib; proximal blade margins entire or shallowly serrulate; juvenile blade glabrous or pubescent abaxially, hairs white and/or ferruginous. Catkins: staminate 23-80 × 5-12 mm, flowering branchlet 3-28 mm; pistillate 41-110(-127 in fruit) × 8-16 mm, flowering branchlet 17-35 mm; floral bract 1.5-2.8 mm, apex acute to rounded, entire or toothed, abaxially sparsely to moderately densely hairy proximally, hairs wavy; pistillate bract deciduous after flowering. Staminate flowers: abaxial nectary 0.2-0.7 mm, adaxial nectary narrowly oblong to square, 0.3-0.8 mm, nectaries distinct; stamens 3-7; filaments hairy on proximal 1/2 or basally; anthers 0.5-0.6 mm. Pistillate flowers: adaxial nectary square, 0.1-0.6 mm; stipe 1.4-3.2 mm; ovary pyriform, beak slightly bulged below styles; ovules 16-18 per ovary; styles 0.2-0.4 mm; stigmas 0.24-0.31-0.4 mm. Capsules 3-7 mm. 2n = 38. Flowering early Apr-Jun. Moist to mesic floodplains, shores of lakes on sandy, silty, or gravelly substrates, marshes, wet sand dune slacks; 60-2400 m; Alta., B.C., Man., Ont., Que., Sask.; Ariz., Colo., Idaho, Ill., Ind., Iowa, Kans., Ky., Mich., Minn., Mo., Mont., Nebr., Nev., N.Mex., N.Y., N.Dak., Ohio, Okla., Oreg., Pa., S.Dak., Tex., Utah, Wash., Wis., Wyo. Presence of Salix amygdaloides in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Vermont has not been verified; its occurrence in those New England states was reported by H. A. Gleason and A. Cronquist (1991), and by M. L. Fernald (1950).


Salix amygdaloides forms natural hybrids with S. gooddingii and S. nigra. Hybrids with S. caroliniana (N. M. Glatfelter 1898) and S. eriocephala (M. L. Fernald 1950) have been reported; no convincing specimens have been seen. Controlled pollination between S. amygdaloides and S. eriocephala, S. interior, and S. petiolaris set no seed; controlled pollination with S. lucida produced a few seeds; some seedlings suffered necrosis in the cotyledon stage (A. Mosseler 1990).

Salix amygdaloides × S. gooddingii (S. ×wrightii Andersson): This hybrid occurs throughout the Rio Grande Valley, Texas, and New Mexico (C. K. Schneider 1919; C. R. Ball 1961), and at Happy and Rio Frio, Texas, and Virgil Run, Arizona. The leaves are somewhat glaucous abaxially, as in S. amygdaloides, but they are linear to narrowly elliptic and branchlets are sparsely pubescent as in S. gooddingii.

Salix amygdaloides × S. nigra (S. ×glatfelteri C. K. Schneider) resembles S. amygdaloides in leaves somewhat glaucous abaxially, but usually linear or narrowly elliptic, as in S. nigra. The stipules are not as prominent as in S. nigra but are foliaceous on late leaves; it should be expected wherever the ranges of the two species overlap. The hybrid is common in Missouri, where N. M. Glatfelter (1894) estimated that ca. 40% of the populations were hybrids, and in Illinois (R. H. Mohlenbrock 1980; G. Wilhelm, pers. comm.). Putative hybrids occur also in Ontario. Narrow leaves are typical of juvenile plants of S. amygdaloides but even at that stage they tend to be broadest at the midpoint or toward the base rather than in a midzone as in S. nigra.

Plant: tree; to 20 m tall. STEMS: branches brittle at base, yellowish to gray-brown, glabrous; branchlets yellowish, yellow- to red- or gray-brown, glabrous; budscale margins free and overlapping Leaves: stipules usually rudimentary; petioles 7-21 mm long, glabrous to sparsely hairy, usually gland-dotted at base of blade; proximal leaves on vegetative or flowering branchlets gland-dotted or serrulate; young leaves glabrous or pilose; mature blade very narrowly elliptic to lanceolate or oblanceolate, 55-130 mm long, 24-37 mm wide, 2.8-6 times as long as wide, the lower surface glaucous, the upper surface dull or slightly shiny, the base acute to rounded, the margins flat, serrulate, with 6-12 teeth per cm, the apex acuminate INFLORESCENCE: coetaneous; floral bracts tawny, 1.5-2.8 mm long with wavy hairs, the apices acute to rounded; pistillate floral bracts deciduous after flowering Flowers: STAMINATE FLOWERS in densely flowered catkins 38-60 mm long; flowering branchlets 8-20 mm long; stamens 3-7; filaments hairy; nectaries 1 adaxial, 1 or 0 abaxial, slender half-cup-shaped, 0.3-0.4 mm long. PISTILLATE FLOWERS in loosely flowered catkins 25-90 mm long; flowering branchlets 4-35 mm long; ovaries glabrous; stigmas 0.24-0.4 mm long; styles 0.2-0.4 mm long; stipes 1.4-3.2 mm long; nectaries 1 to several adaxial, square to ½ cup shaped, 0.1-0.5 mm long, shorter than stipe Fruit: lanceolate or ovate Misc: Forests along rivers, streams, and irrigation ditches;; 1600-2100 m (5000-6400 ft); Mar-Jun REFERENCES: Argus, George W. 1995. SalicaceaePart 2. Salix. J. Ariz. - Nev. Acad. Sci. 29(1): 39
Medium-sized tree, sometimes a shrub 9 - 18 m tall, trunk diameter 30 - 45 cm Leaves: alternate, on twisted, 0.5 - 3 cm long, glandless leafstalks, green and shiny above, whitish with a waxy coating (glaucous) beneath, 5 - 15 cm long, 2 - 5 cm wide, lance-shaped with a rounded to tapering base and long-pointed tip, finely toothed, thin, and firm. Young leaves are reddish and sparsely hairy. In autumn the leaves turn yellow. Flowers: either male or female, borne on separate trees (dioecious) in slender catkins. The catkin is yellowish green, 3.5 - 5 cm long, hairy, and it grows on a short, leafy stalk. Flower 5 - 8 mm long with five to nine stamens. Ovary cylindrical to conical. Fruit: a capsule, in 6 - 8 cm long clusters, long-stalked, yellowish to reddish brown, 6 mm long, and flask-shaped. Seeds have long, white, silky hairs attached. Bark: grayish brown, thick, and furrowed into flat, scaly, connected ridges. Twigs: slender and orange to reddish brown, becoming darker and shiny. Lenticels pale. Leaf scars U-shaped with three bundle scars each. Buds: dark brown, 3 mm long, broadly egg-shaped with a pointed tip, swollen on one side, and shiny. Terminal bud absent. Form: narrow and rounded with ascending branches.

Similar species: In the Chicago Region, Salix amygdaloides differs from most other willows by having finely toothed, hairless leaves that exhibit a waxy coating on the lower surface and are not revolute (rolled downward along the margins). Salix fragilis and S. petiolaris, which have similar leaf characteristics, typically have leaves less broad than S. amygdaloides.

Flowering: April to mid-May, with the leaves

Habitat and ecology: Frequent along streams, and around ponds, lakes, and other wet sites.

Occurence in the Chicago region: native

Notes: Salix amygdaloides occasionally hybridizes locally with S. nigra; see S. x glatfelteri. The wood is used for fuel.

Etymology: Salix is the Latin word for willow. Amygdaloides means "resembling almond."

Author: The Morton Arboretum

Shrub or tree 3-20 m, with 1-4 often leaning trunks to 4 dm thick, the bark fissured; lvs and twigs a little hairy at the very beginning, but soon glabrous; twigs yellowish to reddish-brown, tending to droop; buds sharp-pointed, the short (2-5 mm) scale with free, overlapping margins; stipules typically minute and caducous or obsolete, rarely well developed; lvs thin, lanceolate to lance-ovate, 5-10(-15) נ1-3.5 cm, 3-6 times as long as wide, abruptly long-acuminate, closely serrate, yellowish-green above, strongly glaucous and minutely areolate beneath; petioles 6-20 mm, often twisted, with or without small glands at the end; catkins with the lvs, linear, lax, the staminate ones 4-7 cm, the pistillate becoming 5-20 cm; scales yellowish, villous especially within, deciduous; stamens 3-7, typically 5; fr lanceolate, 4-7 mm, smooth; pedicels 1.5-3 mm; style 0.2-0.4 mm; 2n=38. Floodplains and other moist or wet low places; Vt., N.H., ne. N.Y. and adj. Que., w. to se. B.C., and s. to Pa., Ky., Ark., and Ariz. An apparent hybrid with no. 3 [Salix nigra Marshall] is S. اlatfelteri C. K. Schneid.

Gleason, Henry A. & Cronquist, Arthur J. 1991. Manual of vascular plants of northeastern United States and adjacent Canada. lxxv + 910 pp.

©The New York Botanical Garden. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
Argus 1995, Welsh et al. 1993
Common Name: peachleaf willow Duration: Perennial Nativity: Native Lifeform: Tree Wetland Status: FACW General: Mostly small trees, 4-10 m tall, often with 2-4 ascending trunks, whitish twigs, ashy, to rarely reddish. Leaves: On petioles 5-15 mm long, blades 5.5-13 cm long, 12-19 mm wide, elliptical to lanceolate, serrulate, glabrous except when very young, glaucous beneath, green above. Flowers: Aments grow along with leaves, floral bracts tawny 1.5-3 mm long with wavy hairs; staminate flowers in densely flowered catkins 38-60 mm long, flowering branchlets 8-20 mm long, pistillate flowers in loosely flowered catkins 25-90 mm long. Fruits: Capsules 4-7 mm long, glabrous. Ecology: Found along streams, rivers and in moist soils from 5,000-6,500 ft (1524-1981 m); flowers March-June. Notes: Some features to distinguish this species are that the leaf blades are usually dull on the upper surface, bearing rudimentary stipules, and glabrous branchlets. Ethnobotany: An infusion of the inner bark used as an antidiarrheal, poultice of the bark applied to bleeding cuts, used for stomach ailments, cramps, branches used for building, mattresses, weirs, baskets, drying racks, drums, and the ashes were used for ceremonial paint. Etymology: Salix is the Latin name for willow, meaning -to leap or spring-, while amygdaloides means like the genus Amygdalus, or like almond or peach trees. Synonyms: Salix amygdaloides var. wrightii, Salix nigra var. amygdaloides, Salix nigra var. wrightii, Salix wrightii Editor: SBuckley, 2010