Salix planifolia Pursh

Tea-leaved Willow

Habitat: Damp thickets and stream banks, some subacid areas. [Alpine or subalpine (non-forested, upland)]

Range: Labrador to Yukon, south to the mountains of Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont, and to northern Minnesota.

Aids to Identification: This ascending to erect shrub is unusual for alpine willows, which are normally depressed. It grows to 1-2.5 meters with crowded elliptic leaves. The branches have a thin whitish bloom later in the season. The aments are sessile with black-tipped scales, and the fruits are very nearly sessile (stipe 0.1-0.5 mm long).

Ecological characteristics: Occurs in Maine along stream banks on Mount Katahdin.

Phenology: Flowers June - early August.

Family: Salicaceae

Synonyms: Maine and New England populations represented by ssp. planifolia. Synonyms include Salix chlorophylla Anderss.; Salix chlorophylla Anderss. var. nelsonii (Ball) Flod.; Salix nelsonii Ball; Salix phylicifolia L. ssp. planifolia (Pursh) Hiitonen; Salix planifolia Pursh var. nelsonii (Ball) Ball ex E.C. Sm.

Known Distribution in Maine: This rare plant has been documented from a single occurrence in a total of 3 town(s) in the following county(ies): Piscataquis.

Reason(s) for rarity: At southern limit of range.

Conservation considerations: Populations could be threatened by heavy recreational (hiking) use.