Persian Willow
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Persian Willow
P Introduced Photo: Shakir Ahmad
Common name: Persian Willow, Persian Goat Willow
Botanical name: Salix aegyptiaca    Family: Salicaceae (Willow family)
Synonyms: Salix moschata, Salix medemii, Salix muscina, Salix moscata

Persian willow is a 2.5 to 10 m tall shrub or tree with striped wood. The twigs are thick, red, with gray woolly hair up to the second year and later hairless. The flower buds are egg-shaped, 6-9 mm long, 4-6 mm in diameter, blunt or pointed. Leaves have kidney-shaped or half-heart-shaped stipules 1.5-6 mm long, falling off early. Leaf-stalk is 4-12 mm long. Leaf blade is 5-15 cm long, 3-6 cm wide, obovate to elliptical-lanceshaped, usually half as wide as long, with a pointed or blunt end, a rounded to broadly wedge-shaped base and a more or less wavy and irregularly sawtoothed edge. There are 15 pairs of nerves. Both sides are initially hairy, the top later becomes hairless and is then shiny green. The underside is blue-green and gray haired pressed. The numerous catkins are up to 8 inches long, cylindrical to ovate, sitting and densely shaggy hairy. They appear even before the leaves shoot. The bracts are hairy silky, 2-3.5 mm long and 1.5-3 mm wide. Male flowers have two stamens with 7-10 mm long, about half-grown and hairy stamens at the base. Persian willow is native to Iran, Iraq, Transcaucasus, Turkey, cultivated elsewhere. Flowers: March-April.

Identification credit: Gurcharan Singh Photographed in Kashmir.

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