Sandbar Willow TreeSandbar Willow (Salix fluviatilis, Nutt.)-Slender tree, 20 to 30 feet high, or much-branched shrub. Leaves silky, becoming smooth, linear-lanceolate, coarsely toothed, tapering at both ends, often falcate, 2 to 4 inches long, thin yellow-green, paler beneath; petioles short: mi-drib raised, prominent; stipules minute, leafy, deciduous. Flowers in slender, silky aments on leafy side twigs. Fruits ovoid-conic, sessile, scales smooth. Preferred habitat, moist soil along streams. Distribution, Quebec to Northwest Territory; south to Virginia, Kentucky and New Mexico.
The sandbar willow, like S. nigra, does a good work in holding in place a body of drift which without them would be moved by floods. The beautifying of rivers by embowering the mud flats and sandy shoals in billowy green is a distinct claim this tree has to the gratitude of communities. A little tree, indeed, but widely distributed, it is one of the most useful. A variety, argyrophylla, with silky, downy leaf, is found from Texas west to California and north to British Columbia.