New York Natural Heritage Program
Balsam Willow
Salix pyrifolia Anderss.
Dicots
Salix pyrifolia Stephen M. Young
Family: Willow Family (Salicaceae)

State Protection: Rare
listed species have: 1) 20 to 35 extant sites, or 2) 3,000 to 5,000 individuals statewide.

Federal Protection: Not Listed

State Rarity Rank: S3
A State Rarity Rank of S3 means: This plant is rare in New York (typically 21-50 populations, limited number of individuals, or limited range).

Global Rarity Rank: G5
A Global Rarity Rank of G5 means: This species is demonstrably secure globally, though it may be quite rare in parts of its range, especially at the periphery.


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.

Short-term Trends [-]

Long-term Trends [-]