Salix alba L.
  • Sp. Pl. : 1021 (1753)
  • Saileach bhán

Cite taxon page as 'WFO (2023): Salix alba L. Published on the Internet; Accessed on: 08 Feb 2023'

General Information

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.

  • Provided by: [B].Flora of China @
    • Source: [
    • 1
    • ]. 

    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.

  • Provided by: [D].Flora of North America @
    • Source: [
    • 2
    • ]. 

    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.]

  • Provided by: [A].Manual of Vascular Plants of Northeastern US and Canada
    • Source: [
    • 4
    • ]. 

    Tree up to 35 m tall, bark dark grey, fissured. Young branches erect or drooping, silky, later becoming glabrous. Buds 6 x 1.5-2 mm, lanceolate-oblong, flattened, silky, acute. Leaves stipulate, stipules small, lanceolate, caducous. Petiole 5-8 mm, eglandular, lamina 5-10-(15) x 1-3 cm, narrowly lanceolate, acuminate, finely serrate, silky adpressed pilose when young, becoming subglabrescent. Catkins appearing with leaves, dense, cylindrical, often bisexual, rachis densely pubescent, stalked with entire, oblong-obovate, obtusish bracts. Male catkin 25-50 x 3-4 mm. before anthesis. Stamens 2, free, filaments hairy towards the base, anthers 0.5-0.6 (-7) mm, yellow. Female catkin 3-5 x c. 0.6 cm, lax, glands 1 or 2, ovary ovoid, conical, obtuse, glabrous, subsessile; fruiting stipe 0.2-0.8 mm, equalling gland.

  • Provided by: [C].Flora of Pakistan
    • Source: [
    • 5
    • ]. 


    Aufrechter Strauch oder bis 20 m hoher Baum (grösste Weide). Blätter lanzettlich, meist 5–8 cm lang, 4–6mal so lang wie breit, gegen Spitze und Basis allmählich verschmälert, oberseits locker, unterseits dicht seidig behaart, Rand nicht u

  • Provided by: [E].Flora Helvetica – Illustrierte Flora der Schweiz
    • Source: [
    • 3
    • ]. 


    4–5. Ufer, Auenwälder, kollin(-montan). CH (fehlt im Engadin).

  • Provided by: [E].Flora Helvetica – Illustrierte Flora der Schweiz
    • Source: [
    • 3
    • ]. 

    Nationally Preferred Names

    Saileach bhánIrishIE
    White willowEnglishIE

    Other Local Names

    White willow
    Saule blancFrenchCH
    Salesch alvRaeto-RomanceCH
    Salice comuneItalianCH

     Information From

    Manual of Vascular Plants of Northeastern US and Canada
    Descriptions of plants should be attributed to the full citation for each individual article, chapter or book that is the source for each record, which should include the authors of original publication.
    • A Content licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License
    Flora of China @
    'Flora of China @ eFloras (2008). Published on the Internet [accessed August 2016]' Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO & Harvard University Herbaria, Cambridge, MA.
    • B Missouri Botanical Garden
    Flora of Pakistan
    Flora of Pakistan. Missouri Botanical Garden. Accessed on Jun. 2020.
    • C Missouri Botanical Garden
    Flora of North America @
    'Flora of North America @ eFloras (2008). Published on the Internet [accessed August 2016]' Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO & Harvard University Herbaria, Cambridge, MA.
    • D Flora of North America Association
    Flora Helvetica – Illustrierte Flora der Schweiz
    Flora Helvetica – Illustrierte Flora der Schweiz, Konrad Lauber, Gerhart Wagner, Andreas Gygax. Haupt Verlag 2018.
    • E All Rights Reserved
    Irish Vernacular Names
    • F All Rights Reserved
    Global Tree Search
    BGCI. 2022. GlobalTreeSearch online database (version 1.6). Botanic Gardens Conservation International. Richmond, UK. DOI: 10.13140/RG.2.2.34206.61761 Available at Accessed on (15/06/2022).
    • G Botanic Gardens Conservation International
    International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources
    IUCN 2022. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2021-3. ISSN 2307-8235
    • H See IUCN Terms and conditions of use
    World Flora Online Data. 2022.
    • I CC0 1.0 Universal (CC0 1.0).
    World Flora Online Consortium
    World Flora Online Data. 2017.
    • J CC0 1.0 Universal (CC0 1.0).