Salix arctica Pall.
Synonyms: S. anglorum Cham.; S. pallasii Anderss.
This very variable species, widely distributed in arctic and subarctic regions, is represented in cultivation by the following more southern variety:
var. petraea Anderss. S. petrophila Rydb.; S. arctica var. antiplasta (Schneid.) Fern.; S. anglorum var. antiplasta Schneid.; S. arctica var. araioclada (Schneid.) Fern.; S. anglorum var. araioclada Schneid. – A shrub with creeping, sometimes buried stems and more or less erect branchlets, forming mats a few inches deep; branchlets yellowish, often slightly downy when young, older wood brown or purplish brown. Leaves elliptic to broadly oblanceolate, 1 to 17⁄8 in. long, 1⁄4 to 5⁄8 in. wide, subacute to rounded at the apex, usually cuneate at the base, entire, glabrous when mature; petioles 1⁄8 to 1⁄2 in. long. Stipules small or wanting. Catkins borne on leafy laterals, many-flowered, stout, 1 to almost 2 in. long, erect; scales dark, clad with very long hairs. Stamens two, sometimes connate at the base. Ovary hairy, almost sessile; style well-developed, with slender bilobed stigmas.
Native of the mountains of western N. America as far south as Colorado and New Mexico; also of N.E. Canada, where it occurs in the Gaspé Peninsula, south of the mouth of the St Lawrence river. It is an interesting willow, distinct from most other cultivated dwarf species in its large, very hairy catkins.