Thursday, December 5, 2013

unknown willow ~ 12/05/13 ~ Rec Trail

 
willow 
Salicaceae

This handsome willow has me stumped on what it could be. Of course, most willows stump me. Calflora lists 11 species of willows reported in the general area. I haven't found a visual match for the young, glabrous (hairless) red stems and wide leaves, and Jepson eFlora descriptions don't help me. I'm sure it's quite obvious as to what it is, but I simply don't know it. Can you ID?

ps 12/07/13 - I took another look at this willow area during my walk yesterday.  There's a much older willow tree with a white trunk nearby, and it has the same leaves.  So, I looked at the possibilities again, thanks to John Wall's suggestion.  If I were to make a guess, this could be the arroyo willow (Salix lasiolepis).  There's either an incredible amount of variation in the arroyo willow, or there are lots of people out there, just as confused as I am, who are posting pictures of mislabeled willows on the internet.  I think I'll pester Vern Yadon.  He'll know for sure.

pss 12/10/13 - Vern and I have been in contact.  He doesn't want me to quote him until he's sure.  He wants to take a look at the plants in person and maybe wait until the catkins come out.  To be continued...

4 comments:

John W. Wall said...

Have you ever used this to narrow your search? http://montereybay.cnps.org/local-plant-checklists

Katie (Nature ID) said...

Yes, I even have a couple versions of the checklists saved to my computer from the 2012 update. I looked at the closest in location again. I'm thinking this might be an arroyo willow, but I'm still not positive.

Matt Lavin said...

The willow in your photograph looks like sucker growth, or newly sprouting stems perhaps from a bush that was recently cut back to ground level (at least partially cut back). The leaves and such stems and leaves can be difficult to identity. If this willow was in Montana. I would call it Salix bebbiana. I am not sure that the analog of this species would be in your area of California.

Katie (Nature ID) said...

Thanks for checking out my inquiry, Matt. The stems are a different color than those on the full grown willow tree nearby. We have S. bebbiana in the far north of CA, but it is very unlikely here.