Ferry, James F. Department of Biology, Madison College, Harrisonburg, Virginia.
Last reviewed:January 2020
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A deciduous tree and shrub of the genus Salix, order Salicales, which is common along streams and in wet places in the United States, Europe, and China. Willow twigs are often yellow-green and bear alternate leaves, which are characteristically long, narrow, and pointed; in addition, the leaves usually have fine teeth along the margins (Fig. 1). Flowers occur in catkins. The staminate flowers consist of one to twelve (usually two) stamens, with one or two nectar glands, whereas the pistillate flowers have a single ovary of two carpels, with one to four small glands. The fruit contains several silky seeds. Willow species are wind- or insect-pollinated and hybridize freely, which often makes identification difficult. See also: Flower; Pollination; Salicales; Tree
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