Bay Willow - Salix pentandra

    Alt Name
    Laurel Willow

    It is a large shrub or small tree growing to 14 metres tall. The leaves are glossy dark green, 5-12 cm long and 2-5 cm broad, with a finely serrated margin. The flowers are catkins, produced in late spring after the leaves; the male catkins are yellow, 2-5 cm long, the female catkins greenish, 1.5-3 cm long; The fruit is a small capsule containing numerous minute seeds embedded in white down which aids wind dispersal.

    Identification difficulty
    Recording advice

    The County Recorder has asked for a specimen of this plant to be retained for verification


    Usually grows near water, often in wet, boggy ground.

    When to see it

    Flowers May and June

    Life History

    Deciduous. The flowers are pollinated by bees.

    UK Status

    Fairly frequent in Britain, but not one of the more common Willows. It is not as well represented in southern England south of a line from the Wash to the Severn estuary.

    VC55 Status

    Sarce in Leicestershire and Rutland. In the 1979 Flora survey of Leicestershire it was found in 1 of the 617 tetrads.

    It is on the local VC55 Rare Plant Register

    Leicestershire & Rutland Map

    MAP KEY:

    Yellow squares = NBN records (all known data)
    Coloured circles = NatureSpot records: 2020+ | 2015-2019 | pre-2015

    UK Map