Lost in the willows
Willow plants are of the genus Salix and Rocky Mountain has a variety of species growing. Recently I have worked on identifying different species growing, exciting stuff! I have become familiar and capable of identifying the common species. One morning an unfamiliar willow plant required measuring commonly faced because hybrid species are often found. A booklet helped in keying out the willow plant order to collect proper data.
Willow identification started out scary not knowing some terminology of the characteristics to focus on. So the crew have all been extremely helpful teaching me what to use as good identifiers such as the catkins, buds, leaf features, bark, and new shoots of new growth. The morning involved all input to conclude Salix Boothii willow was the species growing. Making comparisons to surrounding willow plants helped to ID stand out features and was a great learning experience working out in the field!