Trees to 20(-25) m tall; trunk to 1 m d.b.h.; bark dull gray, fissured; crown spreading. Branchlets brownish, glabrous, tomentose when young. Buds coadnate, ca. 6 × 1.5 mm, apex acute. Stipules caducous; petiole 2-10 mm, sericeous; leaf blade lanceolate, oblanceolate, or obovate-lanceolate, 5-12 (-1.5) × 1-2(-3.5) cm, abaxially tomentose or subglabrous, adaxially often glabrous, both surfaces sericeous when young, base cuneate, margin serrulate, apex acuminate or long acuminate; lateral veins 12-15 on each side of midvein. Flowering coetaneous. Male catkin 3-5 cm; peduncle 5-8 mm; bracts yellowish, ovate-lanceolate or obovate-oblong, ciliate, abaxially glabrous, adaxially subglabrous or pilose at base, margin entire. Male flower: glands adaxial and abaxial; stamens 2, free; filaments pilose at base; anthers yellow. Female catkin 3-4.5 cm, to 5.5 cm in fruit; bracts yellowish, lanceolate or ovate-lanceolate, ciliate, caducous, abaxially cottony at base, adaxially sericeous. Female flower: glands adaxial and abaxial, adaxial gland rarely small; ovary ovoid-conical, 4.5-5 mm, glabrous, shortly stipitate or subsessile; style short, 2-lobed; stigma 2-parted. Fl. Apr-May, fr. May. 2n = 76.
Trees, 10-25 m. Stems: branches flexible or ± brittle at base, yellow, gray-brown, or red-brown, glabrous or hairy; branchlets yellowish or gray to red-brown, pilose, densely villous, or long-silky. Leaves: stipules rudimentary or absent on early ones, rudimentary or foliaceous on late ones, apex acute; petiole shallowly grooved adaxially, 3-13 mm, with pairs or clusters of spherical glands or lobes distally, long-silky abaxially; largest medial blade amphistomatous, narrowly oblong, very narrowly elliptic, narrowly elliptic, or lanceolate, 63-115 × 10-20 mm, 4.2-7.3 times as long as wide, base cuneate or convex, margins flat, serrate or serrulate, apex acuminate, caudate, or acute, abaxial surface very densely long-silky to glabrescent, hairs straight, (glaucous or obscured by hairs), adaxial dull, sparsely long-silky; proximal blade margins entire; juvenile blade yellowish green or reddish, very densely long-silky abaxially. Catkins: staminate 27-60 × 6-10 mm, flowering branchlet 2-8 mm; pistillate loosely flowered, slender, 31-51 × 4-8 mm, flowering branchlet 3-14 mm; floral bract 1.6-2.8 mm, apex rounded, entire, abaxially sparsely hairy, hairs straight. Staminate flowers: adaxial nectary oblong to square, 0.3-0.7 mm, nectaries usually distinct (rarely connate); filaments distinct, hairy on proximal 1/2 or basally; anthers (purple, turning yellow), shortly cylindrical to globose, 0.5-0.7 mm. Pistillate flowers: adaxial nectary square, 0.3-0.7 mm, equal to or shorter than stipe; stipe 0.2-0.8 mm; ovary obclavate to pyriform, beak slightly bulged below styles; ovules 8 or 9 per ovary; styles connate, 0.2-0.4 mm; stigmas flat, abaxially non-papillate with rounded tip, or broadly cylindrical, 0.3-0.6 mm. Capsules 3.5-5 mm. 2n = 76.
"Tree to 25 m; twigs spreading or sometimes pendulous, greenish to yellowish, long-sericeous, somewhat brittle at base; stipules minute and caducous; lvs narrowly lanceolate to lanceolate, 4–10(–15) × 1–2.5 cm, acuminate, with 7–10 glandular teeth per cm of margin, glaucous beneath, ± silvery-silky on both sides but especially beneath; petioles sericeous, 3–6 mm, those on vigorous young shoots glandular at the tip; catkins with the lvs, 3–6 cm, on peduncles 1–4 cm with 2–4 small lvs; scales as in no. 8 [Salix fragilis L.]; stamens mostly 2; fr ovoid-conic, 3–5 mm, glabrous, sessile or subsessile; style 0.2–0.4 mm; 2n=76. Native of Europe, sparingly escaped from cult. in our range. (S. a. var. vitellina, golden w., a long-established cultivar with bright yellow twigs) Hybridizes freely with nos. 8 and 9 [Salix babylonica L.]"