Plants sometimes forming clones by stem fragmentation. Stems: branches (sometimes ± brittle at base), yellow-brown or olive-brown, not or weakly glaucous, glabrous; branchlets yellow-brown or olive-brown, violet tinged, glabrous. Leaves (sometimes opposite or subopposite); stipules absent; petiole shallowly grooved adaxially, 2-7 mm, glabrous adaxially; largest medial blade lorate, narrowly oblong, narrowly oblanceolate, oblanceolate, 35-77 × 5-20 mm, base convex or rounded, margins strongly revolute, entire or serrulate, apex acute, acuminate, or convex, abaxial surface glaucous, glabrous, adaxial dull to sublustrous, glabrous; proximal blade margins entire; juvenile blade yellowish green or reddish, glabrous or sparsely pubescent abaxially, hairs white, sometimes also ferruginous. Catkins flowering before leaves emerge, (subopposite, recurved); staminate stout or subglobose, 25-33 × 6-10 mm, flowering branchlet 0 mm; pistillate densely flowered, slender or stout, 13.5-34.5(-35 in fruit) × 3-7 mm, flowering branchlet 0.5-3 mm; floral bract black or bicolor, 0.8-1.6 mm, apex rounded, abaxially hairy, hairs straight or wavy. Staminate flowers: adaxial nectary oblong, square, or ovate, 0.4-0.8 mm; filaments connate; anthers (distinct), purple turning yellow, ellipsoid or globose, 0.4-0.5 mm. Pistillate flowers: adaxial nectary ovate, 0.3-0.7 mm; ovary obturbinate, beak gradually tapering to styles; ovules 6 per ovary; styles 0.2-0.3 mm. Capsules 2.5-5 mm. 2n = 38.
"Many-stemmed shrub 1–2.5 m; twigs slender, greenish- yellow or rarely purplish, glabrous; stipules none; lvs short-petioled, mostly linear-oblanceolate or spatulate or linear, 4–7(–10) cm × 7–14(18) mm, entire below, irregularly serrate toward the tip, finely raised-reticulate on both sides, with a purplish cast, glaucescent beneath, glabrous, at least some of those towards the ends of the twigs subopposite; catkins precocious, 2–3.5 cm × 5–8 mm, sessile, bracteate, subopposite; scales broadly obovate, blackish, becoming glabrate; stamens 2 but the filaments and often the anthers united; frs ovoid-conic, 3–4 mm, obtuse, sessile, short-hairy; style 0.1–0.2 mm; 2n=38. Native of Europe, sparingly escaped from cult. in our range."
|Purple or basket willow, purple osier|