Salix polaris (polar willow) is a species of willow with a circumpolar distribution in the high arctic tundra, extending north to the limits of land, and south of the Arctic in the mountains of Norway, the northern Ural Mountains, the northern Altay Mountains, Kamchatka, and British Columbia, Canada.
One of the smallest willows in the world, it is a prostrate, creeping dwarf shrub, only 2–9 cm (0.79–3.54 in) high, and has underground branches or runners in the uppermost soil layers. The leaves are rounded-ovate, 5-32 mm long and 8-18 mm broad, dark green and have entire margins. It is dioecious, with separate female and male plants. The flowers are grouped in short catkins each bearing only a few flowers. The fruit is a brownish and hairy capsule. The long runners with freely-rooting stems creep in mats of mosses and lichens, which keeps them together and protects them from the wind. It grows as well in open gravel as in closed vegetation.
- Salicaceae of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago: Salix polaris
- Plants of British Columbia: Salix polaris
- Den Virtuella Floran: Salix polaris (in Swedish, with maps)
- Germplasm Resources Information Network: Salix polaris
- Blamey, M. & Grey-Wilson, C. (1989). Flora of Britain and Northern Europe. ISBN 0-340-40170-2
- USDA Plants Profile: Salix polaris
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