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This is a native species.

Salix matsudana
Salix matsudana. Synonyms: Salix babylonica, Salix globosa. (Navajo Willow, Globe Willow, Hankow Willow)
Salicaceae (Willow Family)

Semi-desert, foothills. Lawns. Spring.
Near Yellowjacket Canyon, June 21, 2004.

Navajo Willow is a conspicuous, symmetrical, common, and lovely tree often planted around homes in the Four Corners area.  It grows to forty feet tall with a rounded crown-spread to fifty feet. The young tree shown is about 15 feet tall and the rounded crown is beginning to spread.

The exact scientific name of the species is a subject of some debate and confusion. John Kartesz, authority for all plant names on this website, believes the correct name is Salix fragilis. Flora Neomexicana III call this plant, Salix matsudana forma matsudana, Globe Willow. The Flora of North America describes a tree with the morphology of the Globe (Navajo) Willow shown here and calls that tree Salix matsudana. Plant nurseries in the Four Corners area sell the tree under the following names: Salix matsudana Navajo; Salix matsudana Globe; Salix matsudana variety globosa; Salix matsudana variety umbraculifera, and Salix globosa. The plant may also be referred to as Salix babylonica, but the authoritative Flora of North America indicates that it uses the name S. babylonica only for Willows that weep.

Navajo Willow is perhaps an introduced species native from China, but the Arizona State University plant website indicates, that the Navajo Willow is "thought to be originally a selection from a wild willow growing on the Navajo Reservation near Aztec, New Mexico".

"Matsudana" honors the Japanese botanist Sadahisa Matsudo. (Click for more biographical information about Matsudo.)

Salix matsudana
Salix matsudana. Synonyms: Salix babylonica, Salix globosa. (Navajo Willow, Globe Willow, Hankow Willow)
Salicaceae (Willow Family

Semi-desert, foothills. Lawns. Spring.
Near Yellowjacket Canyon, June 21, 2004.

Salix matsudana
Salix matsudana. Synonyms: Salix babylonica, Salix globosa. (Navajo Willow, Globe Willow, Hankow Willow)
Salicaceae (Willow Family

Semi-desert, foothills. Lawns. Spring.
Near Yellowjacket Canyon, June 21, 2004.

Range map © John Kartesz,
Floristic Synthesis of North America

State Color Key

Species present in state and native
Species present in state and exotic
Species not present in state

County Color Key

Species present and not rare
Species present and rare
Species extirpated (historic)
Species extinct
Species noxious
Species exotic and present
Native species, but adventive in state
Eradicated
Questionable presence

Salix babylonica

Range map for Salix matsudana