Comparative images of this family are given below except those of Casearia, Flacourtia, Populus and Salix (which can be seen by clicking on these links):


(S-Malawi, Zimbabwe, Botswana, South Africa (Limpopo, Mpulamanga, KwaZulu-Natal, W-Cape Prov., E-Cape Prov.), Swaziland, Namibia, Australia (I) (New South Wales (I)), Southern Marianas (I) (Guam (I)), Venezuela (I) as per Catalogue of Life)


Homalium ceylanicum (Gardner) Benth. (Assam, Bangladesh, China South-Central, China Southeast, East Himalaya, Hainan, India, Laos, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Tibet, Vietnam as per POWO; China (S-Yunnan), SE-Tibet, Laos, Thailand, Vietnam, India (Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Kerala), Sri Lanka for Homalium ceylanicum subsp. ceylanicum as per Catalogue of Life & India (Darjeeling, Assam, Meghalaya, Mizoram), Bhutan, Bangladesh, Thailand, Myanmar [Burma] (Bago, Mandalay, Mon, Taninthayi, Chin, Kachin, Rakhine, Sagaing) for Homalium ceylanicum subsp. minutiflorum (Kurz) R. L. Mitra as per Catalogue of Life)



Homalium napaulense (DC.) Benth. (India (Nagaland, Bihar, Orissa, Andhra Pradesh), ?Nepal as per Catalogue of Life)


Homalium tomentosum (Vent.) Benth. (E. India to W. Malesia: Bangladesh, Cambodia, India, Jawa, Laos, Lesser Sunda Is., Malaya, Myanmar, Sumatera, Thailand, Vietnam as per POWO)


Oncoba spinosa Forssk. (Introduced)

(South Africa (Limpopo, Mpulamanga, KwaZulu-Natal), Swaziland, Namibia, Botswana, Somalia, Ethiopia, Sudan, South Sudan, Senegal, Gambia, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Sierra Leone, Mali, Burkina Faso, Gabon, Ghana, Benin, Togo, Nigeria, Bioko Isl. (Fernando Poo), Sao Tome, Cameroon, S-Chad, Central African Republic, D.R. Congo (Zaire), Congo (Brazzaville), Angola, Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Malawi, Mozambique, Yemen (Tihama, W-Yemen), Australia (I) (Queensland (I)), Venezuela (I), Cuba (I) as per Catalogue of Life)




Scolopia crenata (Wight & Arn.) Clos (India (Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Kerala), Sri Lanka, Andamans (Middle Andamans, South Andamans) as per Catalogue of Life)



Xylosma controversa Clos (China (Fujian, Guangdong, Guangxi, Guizhou, Hainan, Hunan, Jiangsu, Jiangxi, Sichuan, ?Yunnan), peninsular Malaysia, Vietnam, Assam, India (West Bengal, Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Tripura, Meghalaya) as per Catalogue of Life)

Xylosma longifolia Clos (China (Fujian, Guangdong, Guangxi, Guizhou, Hainan, Yunnan), Laos, Vietnam, Myanmar [Burma] (Mandalay, Sagaing), Jammu & Kashmir (Poonch, Kashmir, Jammu), India (Himachal Pradesh, Indian Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, West Bengal, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Meghalaya, Manipur, Tripura, Orissa, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu), Pakistan (Murree, Pakistani Punjab), Pakistani Kashmir (Mirpur, Kotli), Thailand as per Catalogue of life)

Re: Salicaceae list : 2 posts by 1 author.
I checked the list of Indian Salicaceae again. I found that four species are out of “”. The species are Populus gamblei, Salix ichnostachya, S. hylematica and S. thomsoniana. I would like to assure you that all these four species are authentic and all have type specimens. Due to isolated/restricted distribution somehow these are not enlisted. So they should be existing in the list.

Populus gamblei Dode is there in The Plant List.


Here are some basic texts about the family Salicaceae.
The family Salicaceae commonly known as the willow family was first described by Mirbel (1815) as Salicineae. The members of this family are characterized as: dioecious, tall trees, shrubs, or prostrate, low creeping carpet-like shrublets; leaves alternate, rarely subopposite, and simple; inflorescence erect or pendulous catkins; flowers unisexual, incomplete; stamens 2-many; filaments free or united; carpels 2 or 4, syncarpous; ovary superior, unilocular with parietal or basal placentation; fruit a 2-4-valved capsule; seeds minute, comose.
In the Cronquist system of classification the Salicaceae were treated in their own order Salicales, and contained only three genera (Salix, Populus and Chosenia), but APG includes it in Malpighiales. Many genera from the family Flacourtiaceae including the type genus Flacourtia, have now been transferred to the Salicaceae in the APG II system of classification which is based on molecular phylogeny (Wikipedia Salicaceae  & Wikipedia Flacourtiaceae).
In India two genera Populus L. and Salix L. are reported under Salicaceae sensu stricto. A key to the genera is presented below:
1a. Vegetative buds with many outer scales; terminal buds frequently present; catkins  mostly pendulous; 
       floral bracts  dentate or lobed; flower with disc but without any glands …………………………  1. Populus
 1b.Vegetative buds with one outer scale; terminal bud absent; catkins generally erect; occasionally
      spreading or pendulous; floral bracts generally entire; flowers without any disc, but with glands..  2. Salix
I’ll post some more text in coming days.

Much needed information shared, thanks a lot … for a beautiful beginning of the fortnight.. I hope this will also be an interesting episode…

Thanks, …, for this inf. Could you pl. provide the list of species found in India as per Flora of India ?

I’ll provide the list after a final recheck.

Very good and clear to understand description.

Some addition which I found from Flowers of Himalaya by Polunin which might be useful. (… may add or alter if anything is not correct)

SALIX : The flowers are insect pollinated. The leaves are narrow and short stalked.

POPULUS: Flowers are wind pollinated numerous and pendulous. Leaves with broad blade and slender leaf stalk.

The list of sp. mentioned

Trees or shrubs






Cultivated sp. Large arboreal trees

   S.alba White willow

   S.excelsa Crack willow

   S. babylonica. Weeping willow

Dwarf alpine shrublets, usually less than a meter.

   Leaves tiny leass nthan a cm


      S. hylematica

   Leaves usually more than a cm

      S. calculata



Leaves lobed, buds dry hairy


Leaves toothed (Not lobed) buds sticky

   P.ciliata (Himalayan Poplar)

   P.pamirica (P.balsamifera)

   P.jacquemontiana Dode var. glauca

   P. nigra L. cultivar italica. (Lombardy Poplar)

In Maharashtra there are only two species mentioned under Salicaceae.

Salix tetrasperma

Salix ichnostachya.

Family Flacortiaceae has following genera and species as per BSI Mah.

Scolopa crenata


   H. kurzii



Homalium ceylanicum









Apart from the native ones there are some other cultivated species too.

Thanks … You just miss one little thing from this book that Salix acmophylla is also mentioned as a cultivated species here. Flowers of the Himalaya (by Polunin and Stainton) is a good book, but it deals only central and western Himalaya (in the introductory part you could find the map and areas they covered). So we can get only 13 species (9 wild and 4 cultivated) of Salix and 5 species of Populus.

Talbot (1911) in his book Forest Flora of the Bombay Presidency and Sind had also added Salix babylonica and mentioned the other two species as you said.  According to him this species is cultivated in “Poona, Bombay and elsewhere throughout the presidency”. 


The genus Populus L., popularly known as Poplar distributed throughout the world chiefly in the northern temperate regions and a few are extending to East Africa ( Mabberley, 2008). The genus Populus has the characters as follows:
Deciduous trees; branches lon. Leaves alternate; leaf blades ovate, deltoid, rhombic, elliptic, rarely lanceolate or linear, often dimorphic or even polymorphic; petioles long, terete, or laterally compressed. Catkins appear before the leaves ( precocious), long pedunculate, pendulous, often lax-flowered; flowers pedicellate; borne on a disc; male flowers: stamens 4-many; female flowers: ovary sessile, surrounded by the disc, 1-loculed. Capsules 2-4-valved; seeds numerous.
The genus Populus L. consists of 35 species ( Mabberlay, 2002 and 2008), but according to Fang et al.( 1999) and Ali( 2001) Populus L. have 100 species which are distributed in Asia, Europe, North America and Northern Africa.
Most of the species of Populus L. are distributed in the North-Western Himalayan region in India. P. ciliata has extended distribution from Jammu & Kashmir to Arunachal Pradesh of India. This genus shows a longer path of distribution from Afghanistan to China touching Pakistan, India, Nepal, Bhutan and Myanmar.P. alba, P. nigra var. italica, and P. deltoides etc. are stated to be basically introduced for a long time. Several exotic species and their hybrids are in trials mainly in the North-western Himalaya. Large scale cultivation are mainly occur in tarai and Hilly regions of Uttar Pradesh and Punjab. As the wood of Poplars are directly related to wood industry, different business houses and companies take initiative for spreading and increasing Populuscultivation. Species of Populus L. in cultivation are known as Poplar, Aspen, Cottonwood are also known to cultivated in gardens. However, much plant is planted for pulp wood, windbreaks, avenues and also as ornamental.
Deciduous trees, or shrubs; branches terete. Leaves mostly alternate; blades variously shaped, often long and narrow; petioles frequently short; stipules small, free, deciduous. Catkin solitary, axillary to terminal, appearing before, with or after leaves; male flowers: sessile, bracteate; glandular; gland 1 or 2, fleshy and juicy; stamens 2-many; filaments free, or connate; female flowers: sessile, bracteate; glandular; ovary sessile or stipitate. Infructescence slender; capsules ovoid-conical, 2-valved; seeds oblong to ellipsoid, small, comose.
The genus Salix L. have 400 species, chiefly distributed in northern temperate regions ( Mabberley, 2008 ), a few are also found in the Southern Hemisphere excluding Australia and New Guinea. According to Fang ( 1987) there are ca. 526 species of Salix L. in the World, most of which are distributed in the Northern Hemisphere, with only a few are distributed to Southern Hemisphere. In India most of the species are found in the Himalaya from Jammu& Kashmir to Arunachal Pradesh. A few viz. S. tetrasperma and S. ichnostachya are available in the tropical and subtropical zones as well. S. tetrasperma is the most widely spread species of Salix in India, found almost all the parts.
Collection and identification of Salix are pretty laborious job as it found in very hostile hill slopes and look very similar in the field. As no such elaborate flower is present in this member, identification can be confirmed after dissecting the flower in many cases.
The majority of the species of Salix are grown along or near the river banks, lakes, etc. even grow on boulder-strewn ground near stream. The common habitat of Salix nearer to water bodies reflects the fact that they need constant moisture supply for immediate seed germination. Many willows are grown as ornamentals and for screens, shelter, holding banks and some of the species for the tuff flexible branches from which baskets are made.


The next episode in family Fortnights will cover Family Salicaceae in the broader sense also including genera formerly included under family Flacourtiaceae. Dr. Sukla Saha who is an expert on traditional Salicaceae, and has revised this family for Flora of India has kindly agreed to Coordinate genera Salix and Populus of this family. Dr. Tapas Chakrabarty has been kind enough to agree to coordinate rest of the genera formerly placed under Flacourtiaceae.
Members are requested to kindly arrange photographs for upload during the fortnight. 

Thanks, …, for the announcement. The following 9 genera have already been discussed in efi so far (one can see the species discussed so far under them by clicking on the link): ……………

I will also try to update the genera pages during the fortnight, so as to incorporate most of the species available in India& nearby areas with details & keys directly or through links as far as possible, so that expert guidance will also be available on them.


Species, genera & family pages of‎‎‎Salicaceae‎‎‎ are now with comparative images. On clicking the link of species, one can check the complete details. Genus pages generally give details of most of the species found in India.
May I request you to pl. go through & point out mistakes, if any. I hope this will aid in identifications in future. If anybody can send images of other species of this family (for incorporation in the website), if any, or can identify unidentified/ wrongly identified images, it will be really nice.