Common on heathery or rocky ground
Leaves very variable, 0.5-4.5 cm. Male catkins 5-20 mm, female 8-25 mm.
Leaves less than 5 times as long as broad, densely silky beneath with appressed hairs.
Other features: A creeping shrub normally not much above ground level, or hanging down over a rock, but can be more upright at times. Leaves are silky on both sides when young, but when mature are normally only silky beneath except in ssp argentea. Catkins in flower April-May, their scales brownish at the tip.