Transitional Zone: Willow/dogwood shrub swamp


Willows and dogwoods are common native shrubs in wet or moist soil throughout Minnesota.

Willows (genus Salix) and dogwoods (genus Cornus) generally do best in central and southern Minnesota, and where soil nutrients are relatively high. They typically grow 5-15 feet tall, and have multiple stems. They occur together on marshy lake shores or pond margins where they often form a dense community called a willow/dogwood shrub swamp.

The most common willow shrubs are Bebb's willow (Salix bebbiana), and pussy willow (Salix discolor). The most common dogwood is red-osier dogwoods (Cornus sericea (stolonifera)).

In northern Minnesota, especially where the soil nutrients are low or where conditions are somewhat acidic, speckled alder (Alnus incana ssp. rugosa) will often do better than willows or dogwoods.

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