A variable shrub growing in a range of habitats. The prostrate var. argentea and var. repens are typically found on fixed dunes and especially dune-slacks, in maritime heaths and heathy grassland and on inland heaths and moorland. The erect var. fusca is found in fens. The species becomes more confined to moist or wet habitats in the south and east of its range. 0-855 m (Atholl, E. Perth).
The species has declined, especially inland in England, but since it was mapped in the 1962 Atlas as `all records` it is difficult to know when these losses occurred.
Eurosiberian Boreo-temperate element.
Light (Ellenberg): 8
Moisture (Ellenberg): 7
Reaction (Ellenberg): 6
Nitrogen (Ellenberg): 3
Salt Tolerance (Ellenberg): 0
January Mean Temperature (Celsius): 3.5
July Mean Temperature (Celsius): 14
Annual Precipitation (mm): 1205
Height (cm): 150
Perennation - primary
Life Form - primary
Clonality - primary
Count of 10km squares in Great Britain: 1624
Count of 10km squares in Ireland: 459
Count of 10km squares in the Channel Isles: 3
Atlas Change Index: -0.42
Weighted Changed Factor: -9
Weighted Change Factor Confidence (90%)
Atlas text references
1980. Trees and shrubs hardy in the British Isles, edn 8, IV. Ri-Z.
1983. Genetic components of morphological variation in Salix repens. New Phytologist. 95:121-131.
1990. Willows. A Guide to Some Difficult Plants. :28-40.
1986. Atlas of north European vascular plants north of the Tropic of Cancer. 3 vols.
Jalas & Suominen (1976)
1984. Willows and poplars of Great Britain and Ireland. Botanical Society of the British Isles Handbook no. 4.