The Arctic willow is dioecious, with the male and female flowers located on separate plants (3). Flowering take place in June and July, with the fruits ripening in August (4). After dispersal, the seeds of the Arctic willow are dormant for 30 days until germination occurs (3).
As well as by seed dispersal, reproduction in the Arctic willow also takes place through vegetative root growth at various points along the stem (5). As a deciduous plant, the Arctic willow sheds its leaves at the end of the growing season (3).
The catkins of the Arctic willow may be much warmer than the surrounding air temperature. On calm, sunny days, female catkins may be up to 8.5 degrees Celsius warmer than the temperature of their surroundings and this difference in temperature speeds up pollen and seed growth, as well as attracting insects (3).
The Arctic willow has a symbiotic relationship with mycorrhizal fungi, which enables the Arctic willow to take up nutrients into the root more efficiently (3).
The Arctic willow is eaten throughout its range by many different animals including muskox (Ovibos moschatus), Arctic hare (Lepus arcticus), ptarmigan (Lagopus muta) and reindeer (Rangifer tarandus), with the younger buds and leaves being particularly popular (2) (3) (7).