Arctic Willow

From Arctic Bioscan Wiki

Arctic Willow - Salix arctica

Arctic Willow
Arctic-willow.png
Arctic willow, Salix arctica; note the fuzzy male catkins.
Scientific classification
Kingdom:
Plantae
(unranked):
Tracheophytes
(unranked):
Angiosperms
(unranked):
Eudicots
(unranked):
Rosids
Order:
Malpighiales
Family:
Salicaceae
Genus:
Salix
Species:
S. arctica

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The Salix genus is taxonomically complex and represented by more than 22 very similar species in the Arctic. However, three species – arctic willow, S. arctica, net-veined willow, S. reticulata, and least willow, S. herbacea– are easily identified.

General Information and Anatomy

Though lacking brightly coloured flowers, the arctic willow still attracts plenty of pollinating insects because of its plentiful supply of nectar within its catkins. They are also well adapted to life in the Arctic because their transparent "fuzz" acts like tiny greenhouse windows. When the sun is shining, female catkins soak up the rays and warm to 4 or 5oC above the outside temperature. Male catkins, in spite of having more "fur", fall short by about 1 C.

Distribution

Arctic willow is widespread throughout Canada's Arctic and is the farthest reaching species in the willow family, growing abundantly at the northern tip of Ellesmere Island.

External resources

Name ID
NCBI Taxonomy 395313
WikiSpecies Salix arctica
Wikipedia Salix arctica
iNaturalist Arctic Willow
BOLD 126334