This section is from the book "British Wild Flowers - In Their Natural Haunts Vol5-6", by A. R. Horwood. Also available from Amazon: A British Wild Flowers In Their Natural Haunts.
The habitat of this plant is ditches and river-sides. The habit is erect. The stem is branched. The leaves are very large, sometimes a foot long, heart-shaped below, broadly ovate or oblong to lance-shaped, acute, tapered below into a stalk, with a flat, not winged, leaf-stalk, the margin having small scallops. The flowers are reddish-green in a nearly leafless panicle, which is very large, with crowded whorls. The inner perianth-segments are enlarged, ovate to triangular, more or less entire, or with small teeth, tubercled, acute or blunt. The fruiting segments are net-veined, with a blunt or wedge-shaped base. The fruit is pale-chestnut, elliptic. The plant is 3-6 ft. in height, flowering in July and August, and is a herbaceous perennial.
Rumex maximus, Schreb. = R. Hydrolapathum v. latifolius, Borrer.- The habitat of this species is ditches and river-sides. The plant has very long leaves, the radical leaves obliquely heart-shaped below, oblong, acute, the leaf-stalks flat or broadly channelled above, with raised edges. The flowers are in crowded whorls, with few or no leaves. The base of the inner fruiting perianth-segments is blunt or heart-shaped, and they are triangular, tubercled, toothed below. The plant is 2-3 ft. high, flowering in July and August, and is a herbaceous perennial.
The habitat of this plant is river-banks, wet places, especially in the north. The species has the willow-habit. The plant is a shrub or tree, with brown bark. The leaves are elliptic, ovate, lance-shaped, with a long narrow point, glandular, coarsely-toothed, shining, sticky, pale below, netted below, and fragrant when bruised. The stipules are ovate to oblong, or wanting. The male catkins, at first erect, are later drooping, the stamens 5 (or 4-12). The female catkins are not so long. The scales are oblong, and fall. The capsule is smooth. There is a short style. The stigma is bifid, oval, oblong, straight. The height is 6-8 ft., or as a tree 20 ft. The tree is in flower in May and June, and is a deciduous perennial tree.
Salix decipiens, Hoffm. = S.fragilis x triandra. - The habitat of this plant is as in the last. It has smaller leaves than in the case of 5. fragilis, with orange or crimson polished twigs, a longer style, and the catkins are closer.
This has been found at Great Ayton, North Yorkshire, by river-banks, and not considered indigenous. The Violet Willow is a small tree with violet twigs. The buds are large. The leaves are linear, lance-shaped, narrow to oblong, with a long point, with acute, coarse teeth, scalloped, shining above, bluish-green below. The stipules are lance-shaped, half-heart-shaped below, acute. The catkins are stout, stalkless (the male one short, thick, hairy), and appear before the leaves. Female catkins have not been observed. The anthers are yellow. The scales are black, pointed, acute, hairy. The capsule has a short stalk or is stalkless, and smooth, ovate to inversely conical. The stigma is linear to oblong. The tree is 10-12 ft. high, flowering in April and May, and is a deciduous perennial tree.