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Usually a shrub, sometimes a tree up to 25 ft in height; young shoots glabrous, glossy; flowering twigs downy. Leaves lance-shaped, broadly wedge-shaped or rounded at the base, with long, slender, sometimes tail-like points; finely glandular-toothed, 3 to 5 in. long, 3⁄4 to 11⁄4 in. wide, dark glossy green above, paler beneath; stalk 1⁄4 to 1⁄2 in. long, with several glands near the blade, downy in the groove on the upper side, and partially so up the midrib. Stipules large, roundish heart-shaped, glandular-toothed, often persistent. Catkins produced very abundantly on short, leafy twigs in April and May; males erect, 11⁄2 to 21⁄2 in. long, stamens five (sometimes three or four); females more slender, 2 to 3 in. long.
Native of N. America from Newfoundland to the eastern base of the Rocky Mountains. It is a handsome-leaved willow, and the only other with which it is likely to be confused is S. pentandra – its Old World representative. S. lucida differs in having a long drawn-out point to the narrower leaf, and the netveining is not so prominent as in S. pentandra. (See also S. lasiandra.)