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A shrub up to 10 or 15 ft high; branchlets slender, arching, silky when young; winter-buds very densely set on the twigs. Leaves linear, crowded, often bent or sickle-shaped, 1 to 2 in. long, barely 3⁄16 in. wide at the most, often half that width, silky on both sides when young, becoming more or less glabrous later, distantly and finely toothed, scarcely or very shortly stalked. Catkins slender, 3⁄4 to 1 in. long, produced after the leaves on short leafy peduncles; scales pale yellow, obtuse, persistent, hairy at the base. Filaments of the two stamens usually connate throughout (hence each flower apparently with one stamen); anthers yellow; filaments glabrous. Ovary sessile, silky, developing into a very small capsule; style very short, with a minute stigma.
Native of S.W. Asia (E. Anatolia, Transcaucasia, Iran, Afghanistan) and of Russian Central Asia, of interest as a close relative of the better known S. bockii of China. A very elegant but slightly tender species, originally introduced under the name S. microstachya.
S. microstachya Turcz. ex Trautv. S. angustifolia var. leiocarpa Ledeb.; S. angustifolia var. microstachya (Turcz.) Anderss.; S. wilhelmsiana var. microstachya (Turcz.) Herd. – Very closely allied to S. wilhelmsiana, differing in its glabrous ovaries and slightly broader leaves. Native of S.E. Siberia, Sinkiang and Mongolia, originally described from the region of Lake Baikal.