Salix × mollissima Ehrh.
A group of hybrids between S. triandra and S. viminalis. The two parents are both important basket willows, with numerous commercial varieties, both male and female, and must over the centuries have crossed spontaneously on numerous occasions, giving rise to seedlings which have in turn proved useful for basket-work and been extensively propagated. The type was a female plant which seems to have been near to S. viminalis. It is not known in this country, where the group is represented by the following:
cv. ‘Lanceolata’. – A large shrub with olive-brown branchlets; bark of the older stems flaking, as in S. triandra. Leaves 3 to 5 in. long, finely tapered at the apex, densely serrated, silky at first, soon glabrous, bright green. Stipules usually persistent. A female clone: catkins dense, narrowly cylindric, erect, up to 21⁄2 in. long, appearing as the leaves unfold on short, leafy peduncles; scales strap-shaped, yellowish, thinly hairy. Ovary glabrous, more shortly stalked than in S. triandra, with a distinct style. This willow, fairly widely distributed in Britain, was described by Sir James Smith (as S. lanceolata) and belongs botanically to var. (nothomorph) undulata (Ehrh.) Wimmer (syn. S. undulata Ehrh.; S. undulata var. lanceolata (Sm.) Anderss.). It was at one time thought to be a hybrid between S. alba and S. triandra.
var. hippophaeifolia (Thuill.) S. hippophaefolia Thuill.; S. multiformis var. hippophaifolia (Thuill.) Anderss. – Leaves relatively narrower than in ‘Lanceolata’, linear-lanceolate, also differing in being entire or with sparse glandular serrations. Stipules soon falling. Both male and female plants are known in Britain. Male catkins about 1 in. long, with two or three stamens. Female catkins with densely hairy scales; ovaries appressed-hairy at first and never completely glabrous (completely glabrous in ‘Lanceolata’).
From the Supplement (Vol. V)
For a discussion of this hybrid, see Meikle (op. cit), pp. 66-9. ‘Lanceolata’ is there treated under the botanical name var. undulata (Ehrh.) Wimm.