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Salix caroliniana

Common Name(s):
Coastal plain willow
Native Plants, Shrubs, Trees

Salix caroliniana, commonly called the coastal plain willow is a small to medium tree or large shrub in the Salicaceae family native to the eastern and central United States west to Texas.  It has short, often leaning trunk with furrowed gray bark.   It does well in wet areas like thickets and swamps and is right at home along a stream bank or next to a pond.  It grows near salt water, so has moderate salt spray tolerance but needs to be protected from direct salt spray by other vegetation. It is not drought tolerant and requires consistently moist soils.  It can be grown from seed or cuttings, including root cuttings.

Regions:  Piedmont, Coastal plains

Seasons of Interest:

    Bloom: Spring   Bark: Winter   Nut/Fruit/Seed:  Summer

Wildlife Value: This tree provides some food and significant cover for wildlife. Its flowers attract bees. It is the only native larval host plant for viceroy (Limenitis archippus) butterflies.  It is a host plant for the Eastern Tiger Swallowtail, Mourning Cloak, Eastern Comma, Red-spotted Purple, and Viceroy butterflies.  The buds and flower clusters are eaten by birds. It is also larval host for (Automeris io) moths.  It is moderately resistant to damage from deer.

This plant may be confused with:  Salix nigra

15-30 ft.
The leaves of the Coastal Plain Willow are temperate deciduous, light green, long and narrow, to about 8 inches long.
The Coastal Plain Willow has semi-showy catkins.
The Coastal Plain Willow grows well in nutrient-poor soil.
Spreading, open, irregular crown
Growth Rate:
cover, larval, small tree, nectar, wet soil, bees, winter interest, coastal, moth, wildlife, wet site, host, salt tolerant, bark, butterflies, wet

NCCES plant id: 3286

Salix caroliniana Leaves
Salix caroliniana Leaves
Salix caroliniana Flower
Homer Edward Price, CC-BY-SA-2.0
Salix caroliniana Bee pollinating a catkin flower
Bob Peterson, CC-BY-SA-2.0