Crack Willow

Salix x rubens, Salix alba, Salix fragilis

Crack Willow

Family: Salicaceae

Other Common Names: crack willow hybrid, white willow
Weed class: monitor list
Native to: Europe, Asia, northern Africa
Is this Weed Toxic?:

not known to be

Why Is It a Noxious Weed?

This plant is on the monitor list - it is not a listed noxious weed in Washington. Please contact its sponsor Joel Freudenthal to report locations or for more information.

How would I identify it?

General Description

Dioecious trees, 10-25 m tall, not colonial; branches erect, flexible or somewhat brittle at base; twigs grey- to red-brown, or golden-yellow, densely hairy.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Flower Description

Unisexual, lacking sepals and petals, borne in catkins which flower as leaves emerge, the catkins slender, on leafy twigs; floral bracts pale, hairs straight, female bracts deciduous; stamens 2; ovaries 1, smooth; styles 0.16-0.44 mm long.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Leaf description

Alternate, simple; narrowly oblong to lance-shaped, 6-12 cm long, 1-2 cm wide, lower surface glaucous, silky to nearly smooth, hairs white, upper surface dull, silky to nearly smooth, margins toothed, base pointed to wedge-shaped, tips pointed to tapering; leaf stalks with glandular dots or lobes at top; stipules leaflike.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Fruit Seed Description

Capsules which split open to release the seeds, each of which is surrounded by a tuft of hairs; stalks 0.2-0.8 mm long.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Where does it grow?

Salix x rubens is documented in Yakima, Klickitat, Kittitas, Benton, Chelan, and Grant counties. Salix alba is documented in Yakima, King, Whatcom, and Franklin counties. Salix fragilis is documented in Klickitat and Benton counties.

How Do I Control It?

Please refer to the PNW Weed Management Handbook, or contact your county noxious weed coordinator.

For More Information

WTU Herbarium image webpage on Salix alba

WTU Herbarium image webpage on Salix fragilis

Additional Photos