Taking its name from its lustrous, velvety leaves (3) (4), the satiny willow (Salix pellita) is a distinctive shrub or small tree, found mainly in eastern Canada (4) (5) (6). The leaves are long, narrow and pointed, with straight, wavy, or slightly notched margins, which roll inwards (7) (8).
The leaves of the satiny willow have a greyish, bluish, or whitish waxy coating on the underside, as well as a covering of long, dense, often silky hairs, which are whitish or sometimes rusty in colour. In contrast, the upper surface of the leaves is glossy and hairless, or has only a sparse covering of fine hairs (2). The branches of the satiny willow are extremely brittle at the base and are reddish-brown or yellow-brown, with a greyish waxy or powdery coating (2) (5) (9).
The satiny willow produces catkins, which are hanging ‘spikes’, or inflorescences, consisting of many greatly reduced flowers. The rounded bracts of the flowers are light brown to black and are hairy on the upper surface (2).
- Height: 0.5 - 6 m (2)