Panarctic Flora


580256 Salix bebbiana Sarg.


Northern Fennoscandia: Presence uncertain
Kanin - Pechora: Rare
Yana - Kolyma: Rare
East Chukotka: Rare
Western Alaska: Present only in the Borderline Arctic
Northern Alaska - Yukon: Present only in the Borderline Arctic
Central Canada: Rare
Hudson Bay - Labrador: Rare
Southern Arcti Tundra: Rare
Shrub Tundra: Rare
Bordering boreal or alpine areas: Frequent

2n= 38 39 (2x). - Europe (N), Siberia (N), Canada. - Several reports for S. depressa, S. depressa rostrata, and S. bebbiana.

Geography: European - Asian - amphi-Beringian - North American: RUS SIB RFE (ALA) CAN.

Notes: Argus and Elven: The plants in North America and northern Asia and those in northern Europe are customarily treated under different names, the former as Salix bebbiana with a North American type, the latter as S. xerophila (= S. starkeana subsp. cinerascens) with a Finnish type. Our opinion is that S. bebbiana and S. xerophila cannot be kept apart, not even as subspecies. This was the opinion of Skvortsov (1968) but not of Skvortsov (1966). What name to apply depends on the interpretation of its relations with the European S. starkeana Willd. 1806, described from Poland ("Silesia"). The present naming is based on their being kept apart as species. They have not been considered as such by the majority of Nordic authors in recent decades (e.g., Elven 1994; Hämet-Ahti et al. 1998; Jonsell 2000b) but were kept apart by Elven et al. (2005). If they are considered subspecies, the name S. starkeana has priority for the species and subsp. starkeana and subsp. cinerascens for the subspecies.

Skvortsov: If we scrutinize plants in localities where this species intergrades with S. starkeana, we indeed believe it does not deserve recognition as species. But if we look at their distribution throughout the northern hemisphere, we see radical difference between the two entities. As PAF deals with the whole hemisphere, I believe the latter viewpoint is preferable.

Elven: In a phenetic study, Argus (1997) found S. bebbiana and S. starkeana to differ at level with several other northern species pairs in Salix, and even more than the majority of such pairs investigated. The reported intergradation between S. bebbiana and S. starkeana should perhaps be re-investigated. It may be due to a too strict circumscription of the 'pure' species or subspecies, especially in Fennoscandia (a tradition surviving from the times of Enander and Floderus). Many of the 'intermediates' reported from there may be parts of the normal variation of the species (especially of S. bebbiana), whereas 'true' intermediates seem to have at least partly aborting fruits. This is additional support for rank as two species.

Higher Taxa