Scientific Name: Salix nigra

Common Name: black willow

Synonyms: Salix ambigua, Salix denudata, Salix dubia, Salix falcata, Salix flavovirens, Salix ligustrina, Salix ludoviciana, Salix purshiana

Habit: Black willow grows to be a small to medium sized tree. It can grow up to 50 feet in height and one foot in diameter. It is often found near bodies of water with many of its branches hanging over the water.

Leaves: The leaves of black willow are lanceolate in shape, and 3 to 6 inches long. The edges are serrated and the leaves are pinnately veined. The leaves are dark green and shiny on the top, and light green on the bottom.

Identifying Characteristics: Black willow is distinguished by its long, thin, finely toothed, pointed leaves.

Flower Seed Head: The flowers of black willow are small and are borne on catkins. The catkins are one to three inches long. The actual flowers are tiny and green. They are present from May to June.

Seed Fruit: The fruit of black willow is cone shaped. It contains many small, cottony seeds. The capsules split on maturity, from June to July.

Where Found: Black willow is found throughout the eastern United States, as far west as Nebraska and Texas.

  • Life cycle: perennial

  • Milky sap: Not Present

  • Plant type: Tree

  • Thorns: Not Present

  • Plant family: Salicaceae

  • Leaf arrangement: alternate

  • Leaf shape: lance

  • Ochrea: Not Present

  • Leaf margin: serrated

  • Stem hairs: no hairs

  • Flower color: green

  • Growth habit: woody bush or tree

  • Stem: round or oval

  • Leaf structure: simple

  • Leaf hairs: no hairs; has hairs

  • Flower symmetry: disymetry

  • Flower diameter: dime

  • Leaf stalk: shorter than leaf