Grey Willow - Salix cinerea subsp. cinerea


Usually a much branched shrub from 4 to 6 metres, twigs remaining pubescent for some time and keeping some of their hair covering until the end of their second year. Leaves oval, wavy, tapered at the base, very slightly serrate, green or greyish above, grey beneath. Stipules often persistent. Catkins 3.5 to 5 cm dense, almost unstalked, appearing before the leaves, almost unstalked, erect, cylindrical and yellow. Female catkins often smaller and narrower than the male with flask shaped ovaries.

Identification difficulty

Damp habitats, marsh areas, water margins.

When to see it

Catkins April to May.

Life History


UK Status

Only common in central and eastern England.

VC55 Status

Common in Leicestershire and Rutland. In the 1979 Flora survey of Leicestershire it was found in 423 of the 617 tetrads.

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Leicestershire & Rutland Map


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

UK Map