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 rocks, mountains, banks of streams and rivers, osier ground. The plant has the tree or shrub habit, prostrate, then ascending, or erect. The shoots are downy, dull-coloured. The leaves are ovate, oblong, elliptic, lance-shaped, thin, downy, bluish-green below, entire or coarsely toothed, acute, netted above, turning black when dry. There are no stipules, or, if present, they are half-heartshaped, with a straight point and a basal gland. The ovoid, or cylindric, erect catkins appear before or after the leaves, are stalkless or stalked, and the scales are linear, oblong, softly hairy, acute or blunt. The anther-stalks are hairy below, and the ovary is silky. The style is distinct, slender, and long. The capsule is narrowly conical, smooth or woolly, with a slender stalk. The plant is 6-10 ft. high, flowering in April and May, and is a perennial shrub.
The habitat of this plant is rocks and mountain streams, and valleys. The plant has the tree or shrub habit. The branches are spreading, shining, chestnut, the shoots smooth at length, dark-green above, shining, bluish-green below (like the leaves), bright chestnut. The leaves are ovate, oblong, elliptic, lance-shaped, smooth, shining above, bluish-green below, thick, black when dry, not dotted or wrinkled. The stipules are very small or absent. The catkins are stalkless, with bracts. The scales are linear, oblong, acute, black. The ovary is silky. The style is distinct. The capsule has a long beak. The plant is 10 ft. high, flowering earlier than other species in April and May, being a perennial shrub.
This plant is found on alpine cliffs and by rills, Scottish mountains. The plant has the shrub habit. The branches are twisted, the twigs woolly. The buds are large, black, and stiffly hairy. The leaves are leathery, shaggy or woolly below, broadly oval, oblong to lance-shaped, acute, entire, with raised netted veins. The leafstalk is very short. The stipules are large, oval, half-heartshaped, glandular-toothed. The catkins are terminal, stalkless, in flower with the leaves, stout, dense, silky with yellow hairs, ashy-white, the male not so long as the female. The scales are black, oblong, blunt, hairy with golden hairs. The stamens are hairless. The ovary is conical, smooth. The style is long. The capsule is smooth, shortly stalked. The plant is 1-3 ft. high, flowering from May to August, and is a perennial shrub.
The habitat of this plant is alpine rocks. The plant has the shrub habit. It is dwarf, erect or prostrate. The branches are brown, stout, with woolly buds. The leaves are elliptic, lance-shaped, inversely ovate, long-pointed, dull-green, silky above, cottony below, entire or wavy-toothed, netted, with straight, raised veins, wrinkled, the margins curved back. The leaves are downy when young. The stipules are small or may be absent. The leaf-stalk is long with a dilated base. The catkins appear before the leaves, and are nearly stalkless, with bracts. The male are ovoid, with black scales and yellow anthers, the female longer. The scales are acute, with a felt of long, white hairs. The style is cleft, slender, very long. The stigmas are linear. The ovary is ovate, lance-shaped, silky. The capsule is woolly, conical, hardly stalked. The plant is 2-5 ft. high, flowering from June to July, and is a perennial shrub.