||Stephen M. Young
Family: Willow Family (Salicaceae)
State Rarity Rank:
Global Rarity Rank:
Did you know?
Salix pyrifolia is called balsam willow because its leaves and twigs have a resin which causes dried specimens to smell like balsam fir. Willow bark was long used as relief for pain and fevers -- it contains salicylic acid, the active agent in aspirin.
|State Ranking Justification||
There are 28 verified occurrences, though most are of small populations, and only 5 occurrences which are ranked good to excellent. There are also 20 historical occurrences which need to be checked. In recent years this species has been found more often in the Adirondacks and St. Lawrence County, and could be removed from the rare plant list if additional populations are discovered.
New populations of Balsam Willow have been discovered in recent years. The species may be increasing, or, since most populations are small, and may occur alongside other Salix species, it may have been overlooked often until recently.
Most of the historical records of this species are from Essex and Franklin Counties, and have not been surveyed in recent years, while most new records are from St. Lawrence County. Surveys of the historically known locations are needed to ascertain the long-term trend of this species in New York.