Description from Flora of China
Trees or shrubs, deciduous or rarely evergreen, dioecious, rarely polygamous. Leaves alternate, rarely subopposite, usually petiolate, simple; stipules persistent or caducous. Catkins erect or pendulous; each flower usually with a cupular disc or 1 or 2(or 3) nectariferous glands. Male flowers with 2-many stamens; filaments filiform, free or united; to connate; anthers 2(or 4)-loculed, dehiscing longitudinally. Female flowers with 1 pistil, sessile or stipitate; ovary superior, 1- or 2-loculed; ovules several to many, anatropous, with a 1 integument; style 1, 2 in Chosenia; stigmas 2-4. Capsule dehiscing by 2-4(or 5) valves; placenta and inside wall of ovary with long hairs. Seeds 4-numerous, glabrous; hairs and seeds simultaneously deciduous when capsule matures.
Three genera and about 620 species: mainly N hemisphere, a few in S hemisphere; three genera and 347 species (236 endemic) in China, including at least nine hybrids and at least one introduced species.
Wang Chan & Fang Cheng-fu, eds. 1984. Salicaceae. Fl. Reipubl. Popularis Sin. 20(2): 1-403.
(Authors: Fang Zhenfu (方振富 Fang Cheng-fu) , Zhao Shidong (赵士´)1; Alexei K. Skvortsov)