Salix ×fragilis L.

Locations ofSalix ×fragilis L. in Virginia

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Botanical Name
Salix ×fragilis L.
Common Name
Crack Willow, Brittle Willow
Salix ×rubens Schrank
Flora of Virginia Name/Status
Salix ×fragilis L.
This is Virginia’s most common hybrid willow, reproducing by vegetative propagules dispersed by flooding.

The treatment of Belyaeva (2009, Taxon 58(4): 1344-1348) that recognizes Salix ×fragilis as a hybrid of S. euxina x S. alba is currently the taxonomic mainstream, followed by Argus (2010) in FNA and most other sources. Marchenko and Kuzovkina (2022, Taxon 71(4): 721-732) disputed her findings and made a case that Salix ×rubens (S. fragilis x alba) is the correct name, a conclusion followed by Flora of the Southeastern U.S. In a note to Rod Simmons, Belyaeva challenges the taxonomic fitness of Marchenko and Kuzovkina, and cites the worldwide acceptance of her taxonomy. At least for the time being, the treatment here follows the mainstream and FNA; under this approach "Salix ×rubens" becomes a synonym.
Stream and river banks, alluvial swamps, rocky and sandy bars, impoundments, beaver ponds, and other wet, disturbed habitats. Infrequent throughout. Naturalized native of Asia.
Native Status

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