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A shrub to about 5 ft high, stoutly branched; young growths glabrous, becoming chestnut-brown when mature. Leaves short-stalked, obovate to broadly elliptic, to about 17⁄8 long and 1 in. wide (sometimes larger), acuminate at the apex, cuneate at the base, glabrous, rather thick, deep green and very lustrous above, paler green or glaucous with a waxy bloom beneath, distinctly toothed. Stipules rarely present. Catkins appearing with or after the leaves; scales yellow or brown, edged with long hairs. Male catkins on short leafy stalks; stamens much longer than the scales; anthers purple at first. Female catkins to about 3 in. long, on longer stalks. Ovary stalked, narrowly conic, glabrous, with a short style.
A native of the Alps (mainly in the eastern part) and of N.W. Yugoslavia. An interesting species, one of the most glabrous of the smaller willows, with very glossy leaves. It is usually placed in the section Cordatae (Hastatae), but has recently been separated, with three other species, as the section Glabrella A. K. Skvortsov, of which it is the type-species.
S. reinii Franch. & Sav. ex Seem. S. glabra sens. Franch. & Sav., not Scop. – This species differs from S. glabra only in a few minor characters – a remarkable fact considering that it is a native of Japan, with a few stations on the mainland of the Russian Far East and N.E. China. Franchet and Savatier, having proposed the name S. reinii, later withdrew it, having concluded that the Japanese plant was too near to S. glabra to merit separate naming.