Willows (Salix sp.)

Although many willows are plants of wet places, several grow on coastal dunes. Despite the difficulty often encountered in identifying willows, the sand dune willow (Salix cordata) can be easily identified by its relatively broad leaves that are slightly heart shaped at the base and usually covered with dense, silky hairs. The wide ranging sandbar willow (S. exigua), a common species of the dunes, can be recognized by its very narrow long leaves that have widely spaced teeth. Finally, the blueleaf willow (S. myricoides), a shrubby species like the preceding, can also be expected along Michigan's sandy shores and dunes.