Scientific name Salix cinerea – Phalaris arundinacea woodland
Common name Grey Willow – Reed Canary-grass woodland
Community code WL3F


WL3F: Salix cinerea – Phalaris arundinacea woodland  WL3F: Salix cinerea – Phalaris arundinacea woodland  WL3F map: Salix cinerea – Phalaris arundinacea woodland

Download full pdf synopsis: WL3F



This community has a low canopy dominated by Salix cinerea and Alnus glutinosa. Fraxinus excelsior is frequent but seldom plentiful. Filipendula ulmaria, Phalaris arundinacea, Galium palustre, Mentha aquatica and Iris pseudacorus are constants in the field layer. Also frequent are Angelica sylvestris, Caltha palustris, Lythrum salicaria, Agrostis stolonifera, Equisetum fluviatile, Carex remota and Myosotis scorpioides. The bryophyte layer is rather sparse and composed of patches of Kindbergia praelonga, Calliergonella cuspidata, Brachythecium rutabulum, Hypnum cupressiforme and Rhizomnium punctatum.



This is a very wet woodland community of gleys and basin peats found on flat ground in the lowlands. Soil conditions are base-rich, fairly fertile and waterlogged. These stands are typically found on swampy lake margins.



No sub-communities have been described for this community.


Similar communities

This community lacks the significant birch component that is characteristic of the willow stands of WL3E. The field layer contains a greater proportion of fen and swamp species than WL3D and typically does not support non-native willows.


Conservation value

This is on average a fairly species-rich woodland community with a reasonable bryophyte flora. Stands along rivers and lakes which are subject to periodic inundation qualify as EU Annex I habitat 91E0 Residual alluvial forests*.



The main threats to these woodlands include changes to hydrological regimes, overgrazing by livestock (usually cattle), woodland clearance and invasion by non-native species.