Sunday, March 10, 2013

Botany picture #46: Salix x rubens

Male inflorescence of the hybrid willow Salix x rubens (Salicaceae), if I identified it correctly. Willows are one of the very few genera that are really diverse and hard to identify in botanically impoverished central Europe. You can actually find creeks that you can walk along and find four or five species of the genus in a few minutes. The Rothmaler flora of Germany contains three different identification keys: one for female plants, one for male plants, and one for sterile material. Still, identifying these plants is not easy, not least because they hybridize like crazy. Here in Australia a few species of willows are aggressively invasive weeds, and you don't really want to see them, but they are one of the few genera that I miss a bit (others are Papaver and Allium).

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