Salix alba var. vitellina (L.) Stokes

Golden Willow

Bot. Mat. Med. 4: 506 (1812) APNI

Taxonomic status:Accepted

Occurrence status:Present

Establishment means:Naturalised

Spreading tree to 15 m high or more; foliage most silvery early in the growing season; twigs orange-yellow, very conspicuous in winter but usually retaining a muted golden colour throughout the growing season; leaves becoming glabrescent, upper surfaces darker and more lustrous than in var. alba; inflorescences and flowers similar in Victorian material (although Meikle (1984) notes less hairy, narrower and longer catkin-scales in var. vitellina).

*CVU, *DunT, *Gold, *VVP. Also naturalised SA, NSW, ACT, Tas. Indigenous origins obscure, long cultivated in Britain and Europe. Naturalised in New Zealand. Very widely cultivated and vegetatively naturalized for the most part; plants are almost always female. Populations are frequent but not large as the twigs are not very brittle. Abundantly recruiting from seed in some locations (e.g. Broken River, north-east Victoria) but pollen donor is probably Salix fragilis nothovar. fragilis. Salix alba var. vitellina is one of the parents of S. fragilis nothovar. fragilis. It is also a parent of S. ×sepulcralis var. chrysocoma and several related hybrids of uncertain parentage.

A female clone of Salix alba var. caerulea (Sm.) Sm. (Cricket-bat Willow) of Britain and Europe is rarely cultivated in Victoria (e.g. Apollo Bay, Daylesford, Tambo River) and has not become naturalized. It is a very large pyramidal or spreading tree to 30 m high with lanceolate appressed-sericeous leaves, becoming glabrescent, dull blue-green above and strongly glaucous below. Fertile characters as for S. alba var. alba. A Cricket-bat Willow industry has recently been established.

Source: Carr, G.W. (1996). Salix. In: Walsh, N.G.; Entwisle, T.J. (eds), Flora of Victoria Vol. 3, Dicotyledons Winteraceae to Myrtaceae. Inkata Press, Melbourne.
Updated by: Val Stajsic, 2018-03-20
Hero image
Distribution map
life Life
kingdom Plantae
phylum Tracheophyta
superorder Rosanae
order Malpighiales
family Salicaceae
genus Salix
species Salix alba L.
Higher taxa


Source: AVH (2014). Australia's Virtual Herbarium, Council of Heads of Australasian Herbaria, <>. Find Salix alba var. vitellina in AVH ; Victorian Biodiversity Atlas, © The State of Victoria, Department of Environment and Primary Industries (published Dec. 2014) Find Salix alba var. vitellina in Victorian Biodiversity Atlas
  Bioregion Occurrence status Establishment means
Victorian Volcanic Plain present naturalised
Goldfields present naturalised
Central Victorian Uplands present naturalised
Dundas Tablelands present introduced

State distribution

Distribution map
New South Wales
Australian Capital Territory