Flora of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago
English: Net-vein willow,
French: Saule réticulé,
Inuktitut: Alagsaujut (Baffin Island); Quarait, uqaujaq (Nunavik).
Salicaceae, Willow family.
Published in Sp. Pl. 2: 1018. 1753.
Type: Northern Sweden, selected by Jonsell and Jarvis, Nordic J. Bot. 14: 152. 1994. Lectotype: LINN 1158.45.
Synonymy. Salix reticulata L. subsp. orbicularis (Andersson) Flod., Ark. Bot. 20A, 6: 5. 1926.
Salix orbicularis Andersson in DC., Prodr. 16, 2: 300. 1868.
Salix reticulata L. f. oblongifolia Polunin, Bull. Natl. Mus. Canada 94 (Biol. Ser. 24): 152. 1940.
Salix reticulata L. var. gigantifolia C. R. Ball, Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci. 21: 185.1935.
Salix reticulata L. var. glabra Trautv. in Ledeb. Fl. Alt. 219. 1833.
Salix reticulata L. var. semicalva Fernald, Rhodora 48: 39. 1946.
Vegetative morphology. Plants 3–15 cm high; shrubs; dwarf shrubs; forming colonies by layering. Aerial stems prostrate. Branches yellow-brown, or red-brown; not glaucous, or weakly glaucous (sometimes); glabrous. Branchlets yellow-brown, or red-brown; not glaucous, or weakly glaucous (sometimes); glabrous. Buds arctica-type. Leaves present; mainly basal, or distributed along the stems; alternate; dying annually and non-persistent. Stipules present, or absent; on first leaves absent, or rudimentary; on leaves formed later in the season rudimentary. Petioles (3–)10–25(–46) mm long; deeply concave in cross section, or deeply concave in cross section, margins covering groove; glabrous. Juvenile leaves yellowish green; glabrous. Leaf blade bases obtuse, or rounded, or cordate (slightly decurrent). Blades 8–66 mm long, length-width ratio 1–1.5, 8–50 mm wide, oblong (to broadly oblong) or elliptic (broadly elliptic to sub-circular) or circular. Blade adaxial surface shiny or highly glossy, glabrous or hairy, hairs pilose, hairs sparse, hairs white, or translucent. Blade abaxial surface glaucous, glabrous or hairy or glabrescent, hairs long-silky, hairs sparse, hairs white, hairs straight, hairs appressed. Blade margins slightly revolute. Blade margins entire and glandular-dotted or crenate (crenulate), with teeth all around the blade or toward the base, with teeth per cm 2–9 (6); apices obtuse, or retuse.
Reproductive morphology. Plants dioecious. Inflorescences catkins. Pedicels absent. Catkins arising from sub-apical buds; flowering as leaves emerge. Male catkins 11–54 mm long; 4–9 mm wide; stout, or sub-globose, or slender; peduncles 4–26(–32) mm long; borne on a flowering branchlet; flowering branchlets 2–28 mm long. Female catkins 11–59 mm long; 3–8 mm wide; slender, or stout; peduncles 5–31(–46) mm long; borne on a flowering branchlet; flowering branchlets 2–37 mm long. Floral bracts tawny; 0.8–1.8 mm long; glabrous (rarely hairy at base); apices rounded, or retuse; apices entire. Flowers unisexual. Sepals absent. Petals absent. Stamens 2; stamen filaments hairy for the full length, or hairy on lower half. Anthers purple becoming yellow; ellipsoid, or sub-globose; 0.3–0.4 mm long. Male flowers abaxial nectaries present. Male flowers adaxial nectaries ovate, or oblong; 0.5–1 mm long; nectaries connate and cup-shaped. Female flowers abaxial nectaries present. Female flowers adaxial nectaries narrowly oblong; 0.5–1 mm long; equal to stipes, or longer than stipes; nectaries connate and cup-shaped. Ovary carpels 2. Stipes 0–0.8 mm long. Ovaries inverse club-shaped, or pear-shaped; slightly bulged below style, or abruptly tapering to style; hairy; short-silky. Ovary hairs moderately dense, or very dense; white, or white and rust-coloured; appressed, or spreading; straight, or wavy; flattened. Styles 0.2–0.3 mm long. Stigma lobes 0.2–0.26–0.32 mm long. Ovules per ovary 12–18. Fruit a capsule; 4.5–5 mm long; hairy.
Chromosome information. 2n = 38.
2n (2x) = 38. Marklund, in Holmberg (1931, northern Europe); Sokolovskaya and Strelkova (1941, northern Russia, 1960); Löve (1954, Iceland); Hedberg (1967, northern Canada, 2n = about 38); Zhukova (1967a, northeastern Asia, 1980, southern Chukotka); Johnson and Packer (1968, northwestern Alaska); Suda and Argus (1969, Alaska, 2n = 37); Engelskjøn and Knaben (1971, southern and northern Norway); Packer and McPherson (1974, northern Alaska); Zhukova and Petrovsky (1976, 1977, northeastern Asia); Zhukova et al. (1977, northeastern Asia); Engelskjøn (1979, Norway); Löve and Löve (1982a, Churchill, Manitoba); Petrovsky and Zhukova (1983a, 1983b, northeastern Asia).
Ploidy levels recorded 2x.
Indigenous knowledge. The leaves taste delicious when eaten raw. They need to be chopped or chewed to remove the itsi, the juice. They could be boiled in water to make a brew for an upset stomach. They could be mixed with paunnat, dwarf fireweed. They can be used as bandages and are also delicious to drink as tea (Ootoova et al. 2001). There are tiny white worms that grow in the base of the catkins, and these were eaten along with the plant (S. Nutarakittuq, personal communication, 1990, reported in Mallory and Aiken 2004). The leaves were eaten with seal blood and oil (Eva Aariak, personal communication, 2006).
Ecology and habitat. A dwarf shrub forming mats in moist tundra on gravel and sand beaches, stream banks, colluvial slopes, edges of frost polygons, and snowbeds. Usually in places well protected by winter snow cover. Often but not exclusively on calcareous substrates.
North American distribution. Alaska, Yukon, Northwest Territories Islands, continental Northwest Territories, Nunavut Islands, continental Nunavut, northern Quebec, Labrador. Arctic islands: Baffin, Devon, Banks, Victoria, Somerset, King William, Southampton, Coats (Nottingham, Prince Charles, Salisbury islands, Boothia and Melville peninsulas).
Northern hemisphere distribution. Circumpolar, or circumboreal (arctic-alpine, gap in Greenland). Northern Fennoscandian, KaninPechora, Svalbard Franz Joseph Land, Polar Ural Novaya Zemlya, YamalGydan, Taimyr Severnaya Zemlya, AnabarOlenyok, Kharaulakh, YanaKolyma, West Chukotka, Wrangel Island, South Chukotka, East Chukotka, West Alaska, North Alaska Yukon, Central Canada, Labrador Hudson Bay, Ellesmere Land Peary Land.
General notes. Salix reticulata is a dwarf species with stems that trail on the surface of the ground or in moss. Leaves are usually broad to circular-elliptic, with an adaxial surface that is prominently reticulate with impressed venation. Catkins are borne on flowering branchlets that are indistinguishable from normal vegetative branchlets; some plants have almost all branchlets ending in a catkin. When the leaves of this species emerge in the spring, they are covered with fine white hairs. These interrupt the flow of cold air across the surface of the leaf yet permit sunlight to enter, creating a miniature greenhouse in which the sun can raise the temperature of the surface of the plant several degrees above the surrounding temperature (Savile 1972). This allows the leaf to begin photosynthesising under colder conditions.
Illustrations. • Habitat. Plants forming mats on stone stripes in alpine area. B.C., Robb Lake. 1 August, 1977. • Habitat. A dwarf shrub forming mats in moist tundra on gravel and sand beaches. Nunavut, Victoria Island, Cambridge Bay. July, 1997. Laurie Consaul 1106 and Lynn Gillespie. CAN. • Habitat. Dwarf shrub forming colonies by layering with prostrate aerial stems. Nunavut, Baffin Island, Iqaluit. Aiken 97–015. • Habitat: Baffin Island. Female willow plants growing between the markers on a tundra slope with white heather. Nunavut, Baffin Island, Ogac Lake. Aiken and LeBlanc 04–042. CAN 586511. • Habit: Baffin Island, Cape Dorset. Plants growing on dense Low Arctic tundra. Baffin Island, Cape Dorset. 3 August, 2005. Aiken. No voucher. • Close-up of leaves. Net-veined leaves among Dryas. Leaves contrast with those of Salix vestita nearby. Ungava Bay, Akpatok Island. 3 August, 2006. No voucher. • Habit. Dwarf shrub less than 15 cm high forming colonies by layering. Leaves oblong to circular, with an adaxial surface that is prominently reticulate with impressed venation. Baffin Island, Iqaluit. August, 1997. Aiken and Cheryl McJannet 97015. CAN. • Habit. A female plant forming a prostrate mat. The adaxial leaf surface is prominently impressed and reticulate. Almost all vegetative shoots end in a catkin. Nunavut, Victoria Island, Cambridge Bay. July, 1997. Laurie Consaul 1106 and Lynn Gillespie. CAN. • Close-up of female catkin. Female catkin with floral bracts separating to expose young ovaries covered with moderately dense short silky hairs and stigmas that are becoming receptive. Aiken and LeBlanc 04–043. CAN 586512. • Male plant. Male plant forming a mat. The adaxial leaves are prominently reticulate above. CMN Photo Library S84–5380. Photograph by Donald Gunn. • Young male catkins. Male catkins beginning to flower. There are a few flowers with spent anthers at the base of the catkin, several with anthers shedding pollen and many with deep red pre-anthesis anthers in bud. Aiken and LeBlanc 04–042. CAN 586511. • Flowering branchlet below male catkin. Catkin borne on flowering branchlet that has an accumulation of glabescent hairs at the base. Aiken and LeBlanc 04–042. CAN 58651. • Close-up of older male catkin. Catkin in which most of the deep red floral bracts have separated and the anthers on long filaments are exposed. Aiken and LeBlanc 04–042. CAN 58651. • Leaf close-up. Leaf close-up. Nunavut, Victoria Island, Cambridge Bay. July, 1997. Laurie Consaul 1106 and Lynn Gillespie. CAN. • Male catkins in flower. Male plants with catkins in various stages of flowering. Nunavut, Baffin Island, Soper River Valley, Cascade Creek. July, 2002. Aiken and Iles. No voucher. Scale bar in cm. • Male catkin. Male catkin with flowers open and anthers shedding pollen, upper flowers in bud with the bright red tips of anthers showing. July, 2000. Aiken and Iles. No voucher. • Male catkin. Male catkin in which the lower flowers have shed their pollen, the middle flowers are at anthesis, and the upper flowers are in bud. July, 2002. Aiken and Iles. No voucher. • Plant going to seed. Female plant with leaves turning reddish and fruit opening to shed willow cotton. Baffin Island, Tarr Inlet. 20 August, 2006. Aiken. No voucher. • Line drawing. a. Male catkins are borne on leafy, flowering branchlets. b. Male flowers have 2 stamens, hairy filaments, a glabrous floral bract and two floral nectaries (adaxial and abaxial) which form a cup at the base of the stamens. c. Female catkins are borne on leafy flowering branchlets. They have a long peduncle. d. Female flowers have a short, silky ovary, a short style, and a cup-like nectary surrounding the base of the ovary. Coville 1901. • Arctic Island Distribution.
This publication is available on the internet (posted May 2011) and on CD-ROM (published in 2007). These versions are identical in content, except that the errata page for CD-ROM is accessible on the main index page of the web version.
Recommended citation for the web-based version of this publication: Aiken, S.G., Dallwitz, M.J., Consaul, L.L., McJannet, C.L., Boles, R.L., Argus, G.W., Gillett, J.M., Scott, P.J., Elven, R., LeBlanc, M.C., Gillespie, L.J., Brysting, A.K., Solstad, H., and Harris, J.G. 2007. Flora of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago: Descriptions, Illustrations, Identification, and Information Retrieval. NRC Research Press, National Research Council of Canada, Ottawa. http://nature.ca/aaflora/data, accessed on DATE.
Recommended citation for the CD-ROM version of this publication: Aiken, S.G., Dallwitz, M.J., Consaul, L.L., McJannet, C.L., Boles, R.L., Argus, G.W., Gillett, J.M., Scott, P.J., Elven, R., LeBlanc, M.C., Gillespie, L.J., Brysting, A.K., Solstad, H., and Harris, J.G. 2007. Flora of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago: Descriptions, Illustrations, Identification, and Information Retrieval. [CD-ROM] NRC Research Press, National Research Council of Canada, Ottawa..