Sunday, March 18, 2012

Pacific willow ~ 03/18/12 ~ Frog Pond

Pacific willow
Salix lasiandra (aka Salix lucida ssp. lasiandra)

This is a large shrubby plant with some surrounding shrubs already with leaves out. This section of willows was found on the opposite side of the pond from the observation deck. I'm waiting to hear back from a CNPS member to double-check the accuracy of this ID. Our local Monterey Bay Chapter recently updated their published lists, and I think there may have been a mistake in the name changes that have occurred with Salix. I'll update once I know more.

ps 03/23/12 - I was in such a rush to post as we headed out camping that I didn't take as much time as I would have liked to look for a proper ID. As a quick cheat, I referenced an older saved CNPS Frog Pond Wetland Preserve Checklist and then compared it with the new 2012 version. In addition to arroyo willow (S. lasiolepis), the older version states yellow willow (Salix lucida ssp. lasiandra), the name of which has since been changed to S. lasiandra var. lasiandra. The newest checklist states yellow willow (S. lasiandra var. caudata), which according to both Calflora and Jepson is only found in the eastern part of CA nowhere near Monterey County or any of the surrounding counties. To complicate matters, the name yellow willow is commonly given to S. lutea. Additional native willows found in the local Monterey area are narrowleaf willow (S. exigua), red willow (S. laevigata), Scouler's willow (S. scouleriana), and Sitka willow (S. sitchensis). Confused, yet? Me, too.

After looking at numerous CalPhotos (linked from the pictures on the Calflora embedded links above), I'm starting to think this might be the ubiquitous arroyo willow, even though the stems didn't have the yellowish to reddish color I usually associate with arroyo willows. I want to do another visit to the Frog Pond in a few weeks to check the changes in the catkins and leaves.


Rotton Yarns said...

Great picture Katie - reminds me of a similar shot I took some years back of the Grey willow,Salix cinerea, which like your Pacific willow provides a much needed early spring source of nectar for bees. They are great in autumn as well when the leaves are crawling with flies and other similar small insects - great for migrant birds!

Sinbad and I on the Loose said...

I went on a hike today, came across that flower you e-mailed me about, the Pacific Hound's Tongue. I stood there staring at it, thinking of you and that name. "What were they thinking when they named this plant? Well, I'll have to get that picture for Katie but today is not the day" and I moved on. It was overcast so no sparkles were to be had, plus I didn't have my macro with me. Next time.

Katie (Nature ID) said...

John Rotton, hmm, I hadn't considered willow catkins have much nectar. I usually think of the obvious pollen source for bees. I wonder why the leaves attract flies.

John Sinbad, Pacific hound's tongue is supposedly named after the large basal leaves that look somewhat like a dog's panting tongue. I'm behind on my blog reading, so maybe you already have pictures of the glittery flower petals?