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A shrub of the sallow group, growing to 6 ft or so high; young bark brown; growths loosely downy at first, becoming glabrous by the end of the season. Leaves rather thin, tinted brown when young, obovate or oval, 11⁄2 to 4 in. long, about half as wide, downy when young, becoming glabrous above and nearly so on the greenish underside; stalk 1⁄4 to 1⁄2 in. long. Catkins emerging in April, sometimes as the leaves unfold. Anthers red at first. Ovaries glabrous.
Native of the Balkans, Carpathians, Sudetenland, etc.; absent from the Alps and W. Europe. Of little garden interest.
A sallow very common in the Alps is:
S. appendiculata Vill. S. grandifolia Ser. – A large shrub or small tree; young bark green or yellowish. Leaves obovate to oblanceolate, the venation deeply impressed above and raised beneath, becoming rather sparsely hairy beneath by autumn. Catkins less dense than in the native sallows, the females becoming very long and lax in fruit, with the ripening ovaries pointing out at a wide angle. It often occurs as a pioneer on landslides, etc., especially on calcareous formations.
The Japanese sallow S. vulpina Anderss. (S. daiseniensis Seem., in part) is quite closely allied to S. silesiaca and like it has glabrous ovaries, an unusual feature in the section Vetrix. Leaves elliptic or oblong to slightly obovate, to about 3 in. long. Male catkins sometimes almost 2 in. long. On dried specimens at least the hairs on the catkin-scales are rusty brown, whence no doubt the epithet vulpina – foxy. It was offered by Mr Wada in the 1930s as an ornamental, but there is no record of its introduction to Britain.
Also belonging to this group is S. pedicellata Desf., a native of the west Mediterranean region from Morocco and S. Spain to Sicily, with an outpost in the Near East. This may not be in cultivation, but the very closely allied S. canariensis Buch is growing at Kew. A native of Madeira and the Canary Islands it is of interest as the most tropical of the sallows. Young growths woolly at first, soon glabrous, sometimes coated with a pruinose bloom. Leaves up to 6 in. long and 11⁄2 in. or slightly more wide, oblong to lanceolate, tapered or sometimes acute at the apex, finely reticulate and eventually almost glabrous beneath.