Salix serpyllifolia

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Salix serpyllifolia
Salicaceae - Salix serpyllifolia.jpg
Salix serpyllifolia at the Giardino Botanico Alpino Chanousia
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Rosids
Order: Malpighiales
Family: Salicaceae
Genus: Salix
Species: S. serpyllifolia
Binomial name
Salix serpyllifolia
  • Salix retusa subsp. serpyllifolia (Scop.) Rouy
  • Salix retusa var. serpyllifolia (Scop.) Wahlenb.

Salix serpyllifolia is a species of flowering plant in the Salicaceae family.


Salix serpyllifolia, also known as thyme-leaved willow, can reach a height of 10–30 millimetres (0.39–1.18 in) and a length of about 20 centimetres (7.9 in). This plant develop woody, dark brown, longitudinally striated, creeping stems. The leaves are tiny, simple, subsessile, spathulate to obovate, without stipules. The upper side is glabrous, glossy dark green covered with a thin waxy layer. Like all willows this species is dioecious. Catkins appear after the leaves. They are about 5 mm long, with yellow anthers. Flowers bloom from May to August.


It is present in mountains of southern Europe, from the Iberian Peninsula, the Alps and the Balkans.


This species can be found in stony alpine turf, rock crevices and screes at elevation of 1,700–3,200 metres (5,600–10,500 ft) above sea level.


Salix serpyllifolia contains salicin, the source of salicylic acid in aspirin.


  • Pignatti S. - Flora d'Italia (3 vol.) - Edagricole – 1982

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