The sandbar willow shrub, also known as salix interior belongs to the willow or salicaeae family. The shrub grows well in Zones 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7. This shrub can grow in two forms, the first as a small tree growing up to 20 feet tall and a trunk 6 inches in diameter, and the second form as a shrub with multiple thin stems that grow up to 8 feet tall. This shrub grows quickly at three to four feet per year before reaching maturity. The stems of a sandbar willow shrub are slender and vary in color from yellow-brown to gray. The leaves vary from medium to pale green. Male or female florets grow as catkins and are long and cylindrical in shape and green in color. Sandbar willow shrubs grow best in full or partial sun in moist soil.
The shrubs are very easy to grow as you can cultivate a new shrub by breaking off a stem and sticking it into moist soil where roots will begin to develop.
Sandbar willow shrubs are used for planting near swamps, pond borders, rivers, gravel and sandbars, lake beaches, marshes and ditches. The shrub is also good for reducing soil erosion. The sandbar willow is popular among pollinators and attracts a variety of bees and butterflies as well as small animals such as birds, squirrels, beavers and turtles. This shrub also has medicinal uses and can be used for headaches, fever, gout, pain and as a disinfectant, antiseptic and skin ointment due to the salicylic acid in its tissues. The sandbar willow has one variety named the Silver Sands Willow and is directly related to the Laurel, Peachleaf and White Willow. Overall this is a low maintenance, useful shrub that can be planted along stream banks to stabilize the shore line, or to plant in soggy spots the prevent erosion.