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A low shrub with creeping stems, which are often buried in the upper surface of the soil, and with short, erect, glabrous branchlets. Leaves often very densely set, glabrous, distinctly stalked, mostly less than 1⁄2 in. long and often as small as 1⁄4 in. long, 1⁄16 in. wide, remotely toothed, the midrib usually deeply channelled above. Catkins very small (to about 1⁄2 in. long) ovoid to broadly elliptic, terminal on leafy branchlets; scales brown, uniformly covered, obtuse, glabrous; rachis sparsely hairy. Stamens two, filaments glabrous. Ovary glabrous, with a distinct, sometimes divided style.
Native of the Himalaya at high altitudes. It is of interest as the type of a section (Lindleyanae) which is closely allied to the Retusae of Europe and N. America. Some plants introduced in the 1970s from Nepal, and grown as S. hylematica (see below), probably belong to S. lindleyana, but flowering specimens have not been seen.
S. furcata Anderss. S. fruticulosa Anderss., in part (1860), not Lacroix (1859); S. hylematica Schneid., nom. superfl. – This Himalayan species is not related to S. lindleyana but the two are in some forms superficially similar. The best distinction between them appears to lie in the catkins, which in S. lindleyana, as in most other members of the subgenus Chamaetia, terminate leafy branchlets which are as long as, or not much shorter than, the sterile shoots. In S. furcata the catkins are shortly stalked or even sessile; usually they are longer (to 1 in. long), clustered; the rachis is commonly densely hairy. Normally S. furcata is a small, erect, rather stoutly branched shrub, but sometimes decumbent. Schneider placed this species in his new section Denticulatae (not treated here), but its affinity is uncertain. Indeed very little is known about the Himalayan species of Salix.
[S. furcata Anderss.] – The correct name for this species is S. fruticulosa Anderss. emend. Schneider. The latter author, after amending Andersson’s species, decided that the name was illegitimate, believing it to be antedated by S. fruticulosa Lacroix, and supplied the new name S. hylematica in its stead. Further investigation shows, however, that Andersson’s name has priority.