Willow family (Salicaceae)
Large shrub, rarely a tree reaching 12(25) m in height and girth of 75 cm. Stems hairless. Leaves arranged helically, variable, usually broad elliptical, with margins toothed or entire, undersides with grey woolly hairs and convex veins. Stipules reniform, toothed. Dioecious, insect-pollinated, used by bees to make honey. Flowers lacking perianth, grouped in catkins edible when young. Male catkins larger and decorative. Capsule small, 2-lobed. Seed with down. Flowers March-April, before leaves develop, and earlier than any other native willow.
Pioneer species on mesic or wet soils, most often in felled areas, forest edges and clearings.
Descriptions devised by the team at the Independent Department of Forest Botany, Warsaw University of Life Sciences, i.e. L. Witkowska-Żuk, K. Marciszewska, W. Ciurzycki, A. Obidziński and P. Zaniewski