This section is from the book "An Illustrated Flora Of The Northern United States, Canada And The British Possessions Vol1", by Nathaniel Lord Britton, Addison Brown. Also available from Amazon: An Illustrated Flora of the Northern United States, Canada and the British Possessions. 3 Volume Set..
Salix nigra Marsh. Arb. Am. 139. 1785.
S. nigra falcata Torr. Fl. N. Y. 2: 209. 1843.
A tree, with rough flaky dark brown bark, attaining a maximum height of about 1200 and a trunk diameter of 30. Leaves narrowly lanceolate, acute or acuminate at the apex, narrowed at the base, often falcate, short-petioled, serrulate, somewhat pubescent when young, glabrous and green above, somewhat paler, and sometimes pubescent on the veins beneath when mature, 2 1/2-5' long, 2"-9' wide; stipules various, persistent or deciduous; aments expanding with the leaves, on short lateral branches, the staminate 1'-2' long, the pistillate 1 1/2' - 3' long and spreading in fruit; stamens 3-7, distinct, their filaments pubescent below; bracts deciduous; stigmas nearly sessile; capsule ovoid, acute, glabrous, about twice as long as its pedicel.
Along streams and lakes. New Brunswick to western Ontario, North Dakota, Florida and Texas. Hybridizes with S. alba. Wood soft, weak, light brown; weight per cubic foot 28 lbs. Scythe-leaved or pussy-willow. April-May.
A small tree, similar to the preceding species, sometimes 70° high and the trunk 2° in diameter, the brown bark scaly. Leaves lanceolate or ovate-lanceolate, pubescent when young, glabrous when old, dark green above, paler and slightly glaucous beneath, long-acuminate at the apex, narrowed at the base, 3 1/2-5' long, about 1' wide, sharply serrulate, slender-petioled; petioles 3"-7" long, glandless; stipules commonly fugacious; aments appearing with the leaves, terminal on short lateral branches, the staminate 1-2' long, the pistillate loose, spreading and 2 1/2'-4' long in fruit; stamens more than 2; filaments distinct, pubescent at the base; bracts deciduous; stigmas nearly sessile; capsule narrowly ovoid, acute, glabrous, at length about as long as its filiform pedicel.
On lake and river shores, Quebec to British Columbia, New York, Ohio, Missouri and New Mexico. Wood soft, weak, light brown; weight 28 lbs. Black or almond-leaved willow. April-May.
Salix nigra var. Wardi Bebb; Ward, Bull. U. S. Nat.
Mus. 22: 114. 1881. Salix Wardi Bebb, Gard. & For. 8: 363. 1895.
A tree, sometimes 300 high, the trunk reaching 8' in diameter, the branches spreading or drooping, the bark dark' reddish brown. Leaves lanceolate or oblong-lanceolate, long-acuminate or acute at the apex, rounded, subcordate, or narrowed at the base, 2 1/2'-7" long, 1/2-1 1/2 wide, bright green above, silvery white and usually somewhat pubescent beneath; stipules often large, sometimes persistent; aments expanding with the leaves, terminal, the staminate 2'-4' long, the pistillate as long or shorter; stamens 3-6, separate; filaments pilose at the base; bracts villous without, deciduous; capsule conic, glabrous, about twice as long as its pedicel.
Along streams and lakes, Maryland to Kansas, Florida and Arkansas. Wood dark brown. March-May. Has been confused with S. longipes Shuttlw.