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Riparian Plants: Red Willow - Salix laevigata

Return to riparian plant list or the Ecological Tolerances of Riparian Plants page.

Red willow is a large riparian willow that is found along the Central Valley floor. Red willow occupies the upper floodplains in the Central Valley, especially tributaries, and requires access to the water table through its roots. However, red willow is intolerant of long duration flooding, which is likely why it is more common in Coast Range and foothill streams where it is not inundated by standing floods common in the Valley bottom. Red willow is also intolerant of prolonged drought.

Red willow can grow to be a medium sized tree, up to 15 meters. The leaves of red willow attract a suite of insects. As a medium sized multiple stemmed tree, red willow provides nesting structure and cover at the midstory level.

For more information about the ecological tolerances and structure of riparian plants, see Gaines 1977, Conard and others 1977, Holstein 1984, Sacchi and Price 1988, Faber and Holland 1996, Cooper and others 1999, Vaghti 2003, Fremier and Talley 2009, and Vaghti and others 2009.

Red Willow dimensions

Red Willow

Red Willow

Red Willow