Common name: Lapland Willow, Downy Willow
Salix lapponum is a densely branched, deciduous shrub that grows to about 1.5 metres (5 feet) in height. It is native to the subarctic and subalpine region from Europe to Western Siberia. S. lapponum grows in open, moist habitats such as swamp edges, sides of streams, and lake shorelines.
S. lapponum blooms from April into May. The silvery grey catkins with yellow or red anthers appear just before the leaves emerge. Male and female flowers are on separate plants. The catkins stand in an upright position on shoots supported by very short stalks. S. lapponum leaves are lance-shaped, downy olive green above, and woolly gray green beneath.
S. lapponum was described, and the name was validly published by Carl Linnaeus in 1753. The specific epithet means of Lapland.
Salix lapponum can be found in Bed 39 which is located in the White Garden.
Text and photos by Kumi Sutcliffe.