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Illinois Native Plant Guide - Black Willow - Pages 126-127

Illinois Native Plant Guide

Black Willow
Salix nigra

Preferred Water Depth and Inundation Tolerance

Natural floodplain species. Species tolerates periodic inundation with up to 2 feet of water for short durations.

Wildlife Value

Provides nesting habitat for birds. Serves as a food source for morning cloak butterfly, songbirds, waterfowl, woodpeckers, beaver, squirrel, and deer.


Used in upper shoreline zones and for streambank stabilization.

Availability, Establishment, and Maintenance

  • Root by cuttings. Spreads by suckers.
  • Has rapid growth rate, 3 to 6 feet per year.

Black Willow
Salix nigra

Mature Height
Up to 90 feetBlack Willow

Plant Type
Deciduous tree

Indicator Status


Nutrient Load Tolerance
Moderate to high

Salt Tolerance

Siltation Tolerance

Flowering Color and Time
April to May

Light Preference
Full sun

Seeding Rate
Not applicable

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