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Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Salix lasiolepis - Arroyo Willow

The Arroyo willow is the most common willow in central California and especially around here. They seem to be everywhere and then no where, meaning they just blend in. Growing rapidly to 20-30 feet tall and wide with a rounded or spreading canopy, usually in wet spots or shall I say, wetter spots. Rarely do you see one tree, they seem to establish in groups. Generally growing as a multi-stemmed tree.



Leaves are deciduous, simple, alternate, simple, oblanceolate to lanceolate, 3-4" long, about 3/4" wide, serrated margins, medium green upper surface, lower whitish color, at least early in the season. Stipules often present.







Flowers are dioecious, in clusters, or catkins, males are yellowish and mostly stamens,  coming out slightly before the foliage.



Females also in catkins, but held upright. These have already been pollinated but you can see the remnants of the style.



Fruit are narrow cone shaped capsules, as seen above, releasing a few seed that look like cotton, same family as the cottonwoods.



Stems are yellow brown, flower buds larger that vegetative buds. Bark can be rough or smooth.





Misidentification:
Other willows. Can't say this is my favorite group, so I don't know them all that well.

Location:
Aptos
Mar Vista Dr. On the right hand side of the street before you reach the trailer park. You might find some at the nursery at the end of the street.

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