Narrowleaf Willow

Scientific Name:

Salix exigua

Type:

Shrub

Habitat:

Inland wetlands

Range:

Western North America

Status:

Least Concern (IUCN Red List)

This species is

NATIVE

to the Truckee Meadows.

Identification:

Also known as coyote willow, narrowleaf willow is a shrub-tree that can grow up to 33 feet tall. Narrowleaf willow leaves are flat, linear, and silky green. Their flowers, called catkins (cylindrical flower clusters), are green and look like a fluffy spike.

Fast Facts:

  • Willows are rhizomatous, meaning they can grow new shoots from their roots, enabling them to resprout quickly.

  • Narrowleaf willows flower from March to May and grow along rivers, marshes, and ditches.

  • Willows are an important food source for many species in the Truckee Meadows such as mule deer, waterfowl, and beavers.

  • Willow stems are flexible and are used to make baskets, scoops, and fish traps.

  • Willows produce salicin, a chemical which acts similarly to aspirin. Their medicinal properties alleviate toothaches, stomach aches, sore throats, and help the healing process of wounds.

  • In the Paiute language, willows are called Suube.

Sources:

Contributor(s):

Haley McGuire (research & content)

Alex Shahbazi (edits & page design)

Last Updated:

April 23, 2021, 8:15:00 PM