Salix orestera Shrubland Alliance
Sierra gray willow thickets

USDA Ecological Section Map

Summary Information

  • Primary Life FormShrub
  • Elevation2100-4000 m
  • State RarityS4
  • Global RarityG4
  • DistributionUSA: CA (NatureServe); NV, OR?, UT? (TJM2)
  • Endemic to CaliforniaNo
  • Endemic to California Floristic Province and DesertsNo
  • Date Added2009/09/01

Characteristic Species

Salix orestera is dominant in the shrub canopy with Phyllodoce breweri, Rhamnus alnifolia, Ribes montigenum, Salix eastwoodiae, Sorbus californica, Spiraea splendens and Vaccinium cespitosum. Emergent trees may be present at low cover, including Pinus contorta ssp. murrayana.

Vegetation Layers

Shrubs < 3 m; canopy is intermittent to continuous. Herbaceous layer is open to continuous.

Membership Rules

  • Salix orestera > 50% relative cover in the shrub layer (Manning and Padgett 1995, Keeler-Wolf et al. 2003b, Potter 2005).


Moderate to steeply sloping montane to subalpine moist toe to mid slopes, stream terraces, wet meadows, and lakesides. Soils are moderately well-drained alluvium. The USFWS Wetland Inventory (1996 national list) recognizes Salix orestera as a FACW plant.

Other Habitat, Alliance and Community Groupings

MCV (1995) Montane wetland shrub habitat, Subalpine wetland shrub habitat
NVCS (2009) Salix orestera seasonally flooded shrubland alliance
Calveg Willow-Alder
Holland Montane riparian scrub
Munz Not treated
WHR Montane riparian
CDFW CA Code 61.115.00

National Vegetation Classification Hierarchy

Formation Class Mesomorphic Tree Vegetation (Forest and Woodland)
Formation Subclass Temperate Forest
Formation Temperate Flooded and Swamp Forest
Division Western North America Flooded and Swamp Forest
Macro Group Western Cordilleran montane-boreal riparian scrub
Group Western North American montane-subalpine riparian scrub