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A shrub to 3 or 4 ft high, with yellowish angled branchlets; young twigs densely hairy, becoming glabrous in the second year, except at the tip. Leaves oblanceolate, 21⁄4 to 3 in. long, 5⁄8 to almost 1 in. wide, subacute at the apex, entire, pale green above, sea-green beneath, silky on both sides, lateral veins in seven to nine pairs; petiole about 1⁄4 in. long, hairy. Stipules wanting except sometimes on strong shoots. Catkins with the leaves, erect, on short leafy peduncles; scales obovate, yellowish with a darker tip, hairy. Male catkins about 3⁄4 in. long, half as wide; filaments of stamens hairy at the base; anthers purple. Female catkins about 2 in. long. Ovary narrowly ovoid-conic, hairy, very short-stalked; style about one-sixth as long as the ovary, divided at the apex; stigmas spreading, slender, bifid.
Native of the Alps from France to the High Tauern, mainly on the inner ranges above 6,000 ft and usually on acid soils. One of the most ornamental of alpine willows.
S. glaucosericea is really no more than one of the numerous states of the variable S. glauca L., a native of the boreal regions and some high mountains of the northern hemisphere, absent from the British Isles.