Leaves are satiny green on both surfaces, with finely toothed margins. They are widest at the base, tapering to a point. Upper Newport Bay, Newport Beach, CA. 10-07-11. © Joan Avise.

Black Willow (Goodding's Willow)

Salix gooddingii var. variabilis

A fairly common 10 to 90 ft. tree found along stream banks, and other wetland borders. Twigs are slender, velvety red-brown to yellowish-green.  Margins of thin membranous scales enclosing the small buds overlap, and are free, not fused into one cap-like scale. Branches are dark brown; bark is dark, thick, furrowed, and shreddy.  An Eriophyidae mite induces galls on the leaves (Clarke p. 170).  Bloom time  Mar-Apr. This species often displays yellow fall color, more so than any other local willow species.

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Peter's Canyon Regional Park, Irvine, CA. 5-21-06. © Joan Avise.

Peter's Canyon Reservoir, Irvine, CA. © Joan Avise.

Shipley Nature Center, Huntington Central Park, Huntington Beach, CA. 4-19-09. © Joan Avise.

Shipley Nature Center, Huntington Central Park, Huntington Beach, CA. 4-19-09. © Joan Avise.

Seed capsules opening; silky white hairs attached to seed. Shipley Nature Center, Huntington Central Park, Huntington Beach, CA. 4-19-09. © Joan Avise.

Male catkins. Length 1-2.5 in. on leafy stalks; stamens 4-5, subtended by yellow bracts; styles and stigma very short. Peter's Canyon Regional Park, Irvine, CA. 4-26-09. © Joan Avise.

Leaves and stipules. Arroyo Trabuco GC, Mission Viejo, 9-20-12. © Ron Vanderhoff

Leaves and stipules. Arroyo Trabuco GC, Mission Viejo, 9-20-12. © Ron Vanderhoff

Stipules. N of Lake Mission Viejo, S of La Barca, 9-4-11. © Ron Vanderhoff

Stipules. N of Lake Mission Viejo, S of La Barca, 9-4-11. © Ron Vanderhoff

Leaf and stipules. N of Lake Mission Viejo, S of La Barca, 9-4-11. © Ron Vanderhoff

Split-gill Fungus, Schizophyllum commune, on stem. N of Lake Mission Viejo, S of La Barca, 9-4-11. © Ron Vanderhoff

Aliso Creek, just W Portola Pkwy, 11-22-12. © Ron Vanderhoff