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About 400.[2] See List of Salix species

Willows, also called sallows, and osiers, form the genus Salix, around 400 species[2] of deciduous trees and shrubs, found primarily on moist soils in cold and temperate regions of the Northern Hemisphere. Most species are known as willow, but some narrow-leaved shrub species are called osier, and some broader-leaved species are referred to as sallow (from Old English
Old English
sealh, related to the Latin
Latin
word salix, willow). Some willows (particularly arctic and alpine species) are low-growing or creeping shrubs; for example, the dwarf willow (Salix herbacea) rarely exceeds 6 cm (2.4 in) in height, though it spreads widely across the ground.

Contents

1 Description

1.1 Flowers

2 Cultivation 3 Hybrids 4 Ecological issues 5 Pests and diseases 6 Uses

6.1 Medicinal 6.2 Manufacturing 6.3 Other

7 Culture 8 Selected species 9 See also 10 References 11 Bibliography 12 External links

Description[edit]

At the base of the petiole a pair of stipules form. These may fall in spring, or last for much of the summer or even for more than one year (marcescence).

Willows all have abundant watery bark sap, which is heavily charged with salicylic acid, soft, usually pliant, tough wood, slender branches, and large, fibrous, often stoloniferous roots. The roots are remarkable for their toughness, size, and tenacity to live, and roots readily sprout from aerial parts of the plant. The leaves are typically elongated, but may also be round to oval, frequently with serrated edges. Most species are deciduous; semievergreen willows with coriaceous leaves are rare, e.g. Salix micans and S. australior in the eastern Mediterranean. All the buds are lateral; no absolutely terminal bud is ever formed. The buds are covered by a single scale. Usually, the bud scale is fused into a cap-like shape, but in some species it wraps around and the edges overlap.[3] The leaves are simple, feather-veined, and typically linear-lanceolate. Usually they are serrate, rounded at base, acute or acuminate. The leaf petioles are short, the stipules often very conspicuous, resembling tiny, round leaves, and sometimes remaining for half the summer. On some species, however, they are small, inconspicuous, and caducous (soon falling). In color, the leaves show a great variety of greens, ranging from yellowish to bluish color. Flowers[edit]

Young male catkin

Willows are dioecious, with male and female flowers appearing as catkins on separate plants; the catkins are produced early in the spring, often before the leaves. The staminate (male) flowers are without either calyx with corolla; they consist simply of stamens, varying in number from two to 10, accompanied by a nectariferous gland and inserted on the base of a scale which is itself borne on the rachis of a drooping raceme called a catkin, or ament. This scale is square, entire, and very hairy. The anthers are rose-colored in the bud, but orange or purple after the flower opens; they are two-celled and the cells open latitudinally. The filaments are threadlike, usually pale brown, and often bald. The pistillate (female) flowers are also without calyx or corolla, and consist of a single ovary accompanied by a small, flat nectar gland and inserted on the base of a scale which is likewise borne on the rachis of a catkin. The ovary is one-celled, the style two-lobed, and the ovules numerous. Cultivation[edit] Almost all willows take root very readily from cuttings or where broken branches lie on the ground. The few exceptions include the goat willow (Salix caprea) and peachleaf willow (Salix amygdaloides). One famous example of such growth from cuttings involves the poet Alexander Pope, who begged a twig from a parcel tied with twigs sent from Spain to Lady Suffolk. This twig was planted and throve, and legend has it that all of England's weeping willows are descended from this first one.[4][5] Willows are often planted on the borders of streams so their interlacing roots may protect the bank against the action of the water. Frequently, the roots are much larger than the stem which grows from them. Hybrids[edit] Willows are very cross-compatible, and numerous hybrids occur, both naturally and in cultivation. A well-known ornamental example is the weeping willow (Salix × sepulcralis), which is a hybrid of Peking willow (Salix babylonica) from China and white willow (Salix alba) from Europe.

A Weeping Willow, an example of a hybrid between two types of willow

The hybrid cultivar 'Boydii' has gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit.[6] Ecological issues[edit]

Knotted willow and woodpile in the Bourgoyen-Ossemeersen, Ghent, Belgium

Willows are used as food plants by the larvae of some Lepidoptera species, such as the mourning cloak butterfly.[7] Ants, such as wood ants, are common on willows inhabited by aphids, coming to collect aphid honeydew, as sometimes do wasps. A small number of willow species were widely planted in Australia, notably as erosion-control measures along watercourses. They are now regarded as invasive weeds which occupy extensive areas across southern Australia and are considered 'Weeds of National Significance'. Many catchment management authorities are removing and replacing them with native trees.[8][9] Substantial research undertaken from 2006 has identified that willows often inhabit an unoccupied niche when they spread across the bed of shallow creeks and streams and if removed, there is a potential water saving of up to 500 mm/per year per hectare of willow canopy area, depending on willow species and climate zone. This water could benefit the environment or provision of local water resources, especially during dry periods.[10][11][12] To aid management of willows, a remote sensing method has been developed to accurately map willow area along and in streams across southern Australia.[13] Willow
Willow
roots spread widely and are very aggressive in seeking out moisture; for this reason, they can become problematic when planted in residential areas, where the roots are notorious for clogging French drains, drainage systems, weeping tiles, septic systems, storm drains, and sewer systems, particularly older, tile, concrete, or ceramic pipes. Newer, PVC sewer pipes are much less leaky at the joints, and are therefore less susceptible to problems from willow roots; the same is true of water supply piping.[14][15] Pests and diseases[edit] Willow
Willow
species are hosts to more than a hundred aphid species, belonging to Chaitophorus and other genera,[16] forming large colonies to feed on plant juices, on the underside of leaves in particular.[17] Corythucha elegans, the willow lace bug, is a bug species in the family Tingidae found on willows in North America. Rust, caused by fungi of genus Melampsora, is known to damage leaves of willows, covering them with orange spots.[18] Uses[edit] Medicinal[edit] The leaves and bark of the willow tree have been mentioned in ancient texts from Assyria, Sumer
Sumer
and Egypt[19] as a remedy for aches and fever,[20] and in Ancient Greece
Ancient Greece
the physician Hippocrates
Hippocrates
wrote about its medicinal properties in the fifth century BC. Native Americans across the Americas
Americas
relied on it as a staple of their medical treatments. It provides temporary pain relief. Salicin
Salicin
is metabolized into salicylic acid in the human body, and is a precursor of aspirin.[21] In 1763, its medicinal properties were observed by the Reverend Edward Stone in England. He notified the Royal Society, which published his findings. The active extract of the bark, called salicin, was isolated to its crystalline form in 1828 by Henri Leroux, a French pharmacist, and Raffaele Piria, an Italian chemist, who then succeeded in separating out the compound in its pure state. In 1897, Felix Hoffmann created a synthetically altered version of salicin (in his case derived from the Spiraea
Spiraea
plant), which caused less digestive upset than pure salicylic acid. The new drug, formally acetylsalicylic acid, was named Aspirin
Aspirin
by Hoffmann's employer Bayer
Bayer
AG. This gave rise to the hugely important class of drugs known as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). Manufacturing[edit] Some of humans' earliest manufactured items may have been made from willow. A fishing net made from willow dates back to 8300 BC.[22] Basic crafts, such as baskets, fish traps, wattle fences and wattle and daub house walls, were often woven from osiers or withies (rod-like willow shoots, often grown in coppices). One of the forms of Welsh coracle boat traditionally uses willow in the framework. Thin or split willow rods can be woven into wicker, which also has a long history. The relatively pliable willow is less likely to split while being woven than many other woods, and can be bent around sharp corners in basketry. Willow
Willow
wood is also used in the manufacture of boxes, brooms, cricket bats, cradle boards, chairs and other furniture, dolls, flutes, poles, sweat lodges, toys, turnery, tool handles, veneer, wands and whistles. In addition, tannin, fibre, paper, rope and string can be produced from the wood. Willow
Willow
is also used in the manufacture of double basses for backs, sides and linings, and in making splines and blocks for bass repair. Other[edit]

Male catkin of Salix cinerea
Salix cinerea
with bee

Willow
Willow
tree in spring, England

Willow
Willow
tree with woodbine honeysuckle

The willow tree as seen as the main part of an heraldic escutcheon over the main portal of a patrician house belonging to the Salis family in Chur, Switzerland, circa 1750

Environmental art installation "Sandworm" in the Wenduine Dunes, Belgium, made entirely out of willow

Agriculture: Willows produce a modest amount of nectar from which bees can make honey, and are especially valued as a source of early pollen for bees. Poor people at one time often ate willow catkins that had been cooked to form a mash.[23] Art: Willow
Willow
is used to make charcoal (for drawing) and in living sculptures. Living sculptures are created from live willow rods planted in the ground and woven into shapes such as domes and tunnels. Willow
Willow
stems are used to weave baskets and three-dimensional sculptures, such as animals and figures. Willow
Willow
stems are also used to create garden features, such as decorative panels and obelisks. Energy: Willow
Willow
is grown for biomass or biofuel, in energy forestry systems, as a consequence of its high energy in-energy out ratio, large carbon mitigation potential and fast growth.[24] Large-scale projects to support willow as an energy crop are already at commercial scale in Sweden.[25] Programs in other countries are being developed through initiatives such as the Willow
Willow
Biomass
Biomass
Project in the US, and the Energy Coppice
Coppice
Project in the UK.[26] Willow
Willow
may also be grown to produce charcoal. Environment: As a plant, willow is used for biofiltration,[27] constructed wetlands, ecological wastewater treatment systems,[28] hedges, land reclamation, landscaping, phytoremediation,[29] streambank stabilisation (bioengineering), slope stabilisation, soil erosion control, shelterbelt and windbreak, soil building, soil reclamation,[30] tree bog compost toilet, and wildlife habitat. Religion: Willow
Willow
is one of the "Four Species" used ritually during the Jewish holiday of Sukkot. In Buddhism, a willow branch is one of the chief attributes of Kwan Yin, the bodhisattva of compassion. Christian churches in northwestern Europe and Ukraine and Bulgaria[31][better source needed] often used willow branches in place of palms in the ceremonies on Palm Sunday.[32]

Culture[edit] The willow is one of the four species associated with the Jewish festival of Sukkot. Willow
Willow
branches are also used during the synagogue service on Hoshana Rabbah, the seventh day of Sukkot. In China, some people carry willow branches with them on the day of their Tomb Sweeping or Qingming Festival. Willow
Willow
branches are also put up on gates and/or front doors, which they believe help ward off the evil spirits that wander on Qingming. Legend states that on Qingming Festival, the ruler of the underworld allows the spirits of the dead to return to earth. Since their presence may not always be welcome, willow branches keep them away.[33] In traditional pictures of the Goddess of Mercy Guanyin, she is often shown seated on a rock with a willow branch in a vase of water at her side. The Goddess employs this mysterious water and the branch for putting demons to flight. Taoist witches also use a small carving made from willow wood for communicating with the spirits of the dead. The image is sent to the nether world, where the disembodied spirit is deemed to enter it, and give the desired information to surviving relatives on its return.[34] The willow is a famous subject in many East Asian nations' cultures, particularly in pen and ink paintings from China and Japan. A gisaeng (Korean geisha) named Hongrang, who lived in the middle of the Joseon Dynasty, wrote the poem "By the willow in the rain in the evening", which she gave to her parting lover (Choi Gyeong-chang).[35] Hongrang wrote:

"...I will be the willow on your bedside."

In Japanese tradition, the willow is associated with ghosts. It is popularly supposed that a ghost will appear where a willow grows. Willow
Willow
trees are also quite prevalent in folklore and myths.[36][37] In English folklore, a willow tree is believed to be quite sinister, capable of uprooting itself and stalking travellers. The Viminal Hill, one of the Seven Hills Of Rome, derives its name from the Latin
Latin
word for osier, viminia (pl.). Hans Christian Andersen
Hans Christian Andersen
wrote a story called "Under the Willow
Willow
Tree" (1853) in which children ask questions of a tree they call "willow-father", paired with another entity called "elder-mother".[38] "Green Willow" is a Japanese ghost story in which a young samurai falls in love with a woman called Green Willow
Willow
who has a close spiritual connection with a willow tree.[39] "The Willow
Willow
Wife" is another, not dissimilar tale.[40] "Wisdom of the Willow
Willow
Tree" is an Osage Nation
Osage Nation
story in which a young man seeks answers from a willow tree, addressing the tree in conversation as 'Grandfather'.[41] The Whomping Willow
Willow
is featured throughout the Harry Potter series, most notably as a guardian for a backdoor entrance to the Shrieking Shack. This is especially important in the third and seventh installments of the series, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
respectively. In Central Europe a "hollow willow" is a common figure of speech, alluding to a person one can confide secrets in. The metaphor was used e.g. in the poem Král Lávra (King Lear) by Czech poet Karel Havlíček Borovský (1854). Willow
Willow
is considered the national tree of Ukraine. Selected species[edit] Main article: List of Salix species The genus Salix is made up of around 400 species[2] of deciduous trees and shrubs:

Salix acutifolia
Salix acutifolia
Willd. – long-leaved violet willow Salix alaxensis
Salix alaxensis
(Andersson) Coville Salix alba
Salix alba
L. – white willow Salix amygdaloides
Salix amygdaloides
Andersson – peachleaf willow Salix arbuscula
Salix arbuscula
L. Salix arbusculoides
Salix arbusculoides
– littletree willow Salix arctica
Salix arctica
Pall. – Arctic
Arctic
willow Salix arizonica
Salix arizonica
Dorn Salix atrocinerea
Salix atrocinerea
Brot. – grey willow Salix aurita
Salix aurita
L. – eared willow Salix babylonica
Salix babylonica
L. – Babylon willow, Peking willow or weeping willow Salix bakko Salix barclayi Andersson Salix barrattiana
Salix barrattiana
– Barratt's willow Salix bebbiana
Salix bebbiana
Sarg. – beaked willow, long-beaked willow, and Bebb's willow Salix bicolor Salix bonplandiana
Salix bonplandiana
Kunth – Bonpland willow Salix boothii
Salix boothii
Dorn – Booth's willow Salix brachycarpa
Salix brachycarpa
Nutt. Salix breweri
Salix breweri
Bebb – Brewer's willow Salix canariensis
Salix canariensis
Chr. Sm. Salix candida
Salix candida
Flüggé ex Willd. – sageleaf willow Salix caprea
Salix caprea
L. – goat willow, or pussy willow Salix caroliniana
Salix caroliniana
Michx. – coastal plain willow Salix chaenomeloides
Salix chaenomeloides
Kimura Salix cinerea
Salix cinerea
L. – grey willow Salix cordata
Salix cordata
Michx. – sand dune willow, furry willow, or heartleaf willow Salix delnortensis
Salix delnortensis
C.K.Schneid. – Del Norte willow Salix discolor
Salix discolor
Muhl. – American willow Salix drummondiana
Salix drummondiana
Barratt ex Hook. – Drummond's willow Salix eastwoodiae Cockerell ex A.Heller – Eastwood's willow, mountain willow, or Sierra willow Salix eleagnos
Salix eleagnos
Scop. – olive willow Salix eriocarpa Salix exigua
Salix exigua
Nutt. – sandbar willow, narrowleaf willow, or coyote willow Salix floridana Salix fragilis
Salix fragilis
L. – crack willow Salix fuscescens
Salix fuscescens
– Alaska bog willow Salix futura Salix geyeriana
Salix geyeriana
Andersson – Geyer's willow Salix gilgiana Seemen Salix glauca
Salix glauca
L. Salix glaucosericea Salix gooddingii
Salix gooddingii
C. R. Ball – Goodding's willow, or Goodding's black willow Salix gracilistyla
Salix gracilistyla
Miq. Salix hastata
Salix hastata
L. Salix herbacea
Salix herbacea
L. – dwarf willow, least willow or snowbed willow Salix hookeriana
Salix hookeriana
Barratt ex Hook. – dune willow, coastal willow, or Hooker's willow Salix hultenii Salix humboldtiana
Salix humboldtiana
Willd. Salix integra
Salix integra
Thunb. Salix interior Salix japonica Thunb. Salix jepsonii C.K.Schneid. – Jepson's willow Salix jessoensis Seemen Salix koriyanagi Kimura ex Goerz Salix kusanoi Salix laevigata
Salix laevigata
Bebb – red willow or polished willow Salix lanata
Salix lanata
L. – woolly willow Salix lapponum
Salix lapponum
L. – downy willow Salix lasiolepis
Salix lasiolepis
Benth. – arroyo willow Salix lemmonii
Salix lemmonii
Bebb – Lemmon's willow Salix libani
Salix libani
– Lebanese willow Salix ligulifolia C.R.Ball – strapleaf willow Salix lucida
Salix lucida
Muhl. – shining willow, Pacific willow, or whiplash willow Salix lutea
Salix lutea
Nutt. – yellow willow Salix magnifica
Salix magnifica
Hemsl. Salix matsudana
Salix matsudana
Koidz. – Chinese willow or twisted willow, variant Corkscrew Salix melanopsis Nutt. – dusky willow Salix miyabeana Seemen Salix monticola Salix mucronata
Salix mucronata
– Cape silver willow Salix microphylla Schltdl. & Cham. Salix myrsinifolia
Salix myrsinifolia
Salisb. Salix myrtillifolia Salix myrtilloides
Salix myrtilloides
L. – swamp willow Salix nakamurana Salix nigra
Salix nigra
Marshall – black willow Salix orestera C.K.Schneid. – Sierra willow or gray-leafed Sierra willow Salix paradoxa Kunth Salix pentandra
Salix pentandra
L. – bay willow Salix phylicifolia
Salix phylicifolia
L. Salix pierotii – Korean willow[42] Salix planifolia
Salix planifolia
Pursh. – diamondleaf willow or tea-leafed willow Salix polaris
Salix polaris
Wahlenb. – polar willow Salix prolixa
Salix prolixa
Andersson – MacKenzie's willow Salix pulchra Salix purpurea
Salix purpurea
L. – purple willow or purple osier Salix reinii Salix reticulata
Salix reticulata
L. – net-veined willow Salix retusa Salix richardsonii Salix rorida Lacksch. Salix rupifraga Salix schwerinii E. L. Wolf Salix scouleriana
Salix scouleriana
Barratt ex Hook. – Scouler's willow Salix sepulcralis group – hybrid willows Salix sericea
Salix sericea
Marshall – silky willow Salix serissaefolia Salix serissima
Salix serissima
(L. H. Bailey) Fernald — autumn willow or fall willow Salix serpyllifolia Salix sessilifolia
Salix sessilifolia
Nutt. – northwest sandbar willow Salix shiraii Salix sieboldiana Salix sitchensis
Salix sitchensis
C. A. Sanson ex Bong. – Sitka willow Salix subfragilis Salix subopposita Miq. Salix taraikensis Salix tarraconensis Salix taxifolia
Salix taxifolia
Kunth – yew-leaf willow Salix tetrasperma
Salix tetrasperma
Roxb. – Indian willow Salix triandra
Salix triandra
L. – almond willow or almond-leaved willow Salix udensis
Salix udensis
Trautv. & C. A. Mey. Salix viminalis
Salix viminalis
L. – common osier Salix vulpina Andersson Salix yezoalpina Koidz. Salix yoshinoi

See also[edit]

Trees portal

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Salix.

Wikispecies
Wikispecies
has information related to Salix

Aravah, the Hebrew name of the willow, for its ritual use during the Jewish Feast of Tabernacles; List of Lepidoptera
Lepidoptera
that feed on willows Rhabdophaga rosaria, a willow gall; Willow
Willow
Biomass
Biomass
Project; Willow
Willow
water, using the biological rooting hormones indolebutyric acid and salicylic acid from willow branches to stimulate root growth in new cuttings; Sail ogham letter meaning willow.

References[edit]

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Book, Cambridge University Press #2: Cambridge. ^ George W. Argus. The Genus
Genus
Salix (Salicaceae) in the Southeastern United States. Systematic Botany Monographs. 9. JSTOR 25027618.  ^ Leland, John (2005). Aliens in the Backyard: Plant
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Bibliography[edit]

Keeler, Harriet L. (1990). Our Native Trees and How to Identify Them. New York: Charles Scriber's Sons. Pages 393–395. ISBN 0-87338-838-0. Newsholme, C. (1992). Willows: The Genus
Genus
Salix. ISBN 0-88192-565-9 Warren-Wren, S.C. (1992). The Complete Book of Willows. ISBN 0-498-01262-X Sviatlana Trybush, Šárka Jahodová, William Macalpine and Angela Karp. (2008). A genetic study of a Salix germplasm resource reveals new insights into relationships among subgenera, sections and species BioEnergy Research. 1(1):67 – 79.

External links[edit]

Look up withy or osier in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.

Look up willow, sallow, withy, or osier in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.

 "Willow". Encyclopædia Britannica. 28 (11th ed.). 1911. pp. 688–689.   "Willow". The New Student's Reference Work. 1914. 

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Taxon identifiers

Wd: Q36050 APDB: 194572 EoL: 32667 EPPO: 1SAXG FloraBase: 22673 FNA: 129059 FoC: 129059 Fossilworks: 54580 GBIF: 3039576 GRIN: 10657 iNaturalist: 53453 IPNI: 36055-1 ITIS: 22476 NCBI: 40685 PLANTS: SALIX Tropicos: 40028804 VASCAN: 1639 WoRMS: 264935

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