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Weeping White Willow

Salix alba


The common name, Weeping willow, can be confusing, because there are several trees that go by that name. There is, for example, Salix babylonica, a willow well-adapted to warmer regions; and Salix alba 'Tristis', a European favorite that does better at cooler latitudes. Salix alba 'Tristis' is commonly sold as Golden weeping willow in recognition of its bright golden yellow twigs and weeping form. It is one of the best of the weeping willows and typically grows 15 to 20 metres with an open, rounded crown and pendulous golden branchlets that gracefully dip down. Year old twigs are yellow and pendulous. The long, narrow, finely-toothed leaves (to 4 inches long and 1/2 inch wide) are bright green to yellow-green and are white beneath. Fall color is usually a pale yellow to green. This willow is the perfect choice for moist areas in your landscape and a superb specimen of grace and elegance. It is fast growing, so give it plenty of room and it is fully hardy throughout the UK. Golden Weeping willow is so exceptional that it has received the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit ( )


Salix alba (White Willow) is a species of willow native to Europe and western and central Asia.[1][2] The name derives from the white tone to the undersides of the leaves. It is a medium-size to large deciduous tree growing up to 10–30 m tall, with a trunk up to 1 m diameter and an irregular, often-leaning crown. The bark is grey-brown, deeply fissured in older trees. The shoots in the typical species are grey-brown to green-brown. The leaves are paler than most other willows, due to a covering of very fine silky white hairs, in particular on the underside; they are 5–10 cm long and 0.5–1.5 cm wide. The flowers are produced in catkins in early spring, and pollinated by insects. It is dioecious, with male and female catkins on separate trees; the male catkins are 4–5 cm long, the female catkins 3–4 cm long at pollination, lengthening as the fruit matures. When mature in mid summer, the female catkins comprise numerous small (4 mm) capsules each containing numerous minute seeds embedded in white down, which aids wind dispersal


Cultivars and hybrids A number of cultivars and hybrids have been selected for forestry and horticultural use: Salix alba 'Caerulea' (Cricket-bat Willow; syn. Salix alba var. caerulea (Sm.) Sm.; Salix caerulea Sm.) is grown as a specialist timber crop in Britain, mainly for the production of cricket bats, and for other uses where a tough, lightweight wood that does not splinter easily is required. It is distinguished mainly by its growth form, very fast-growing with a single straight stem, and also by its slightly larger leaves (10–11 cm long, 1.5–2 cm wide) with a more blue-green colour. Its origin is unknown; it may be a hybrid between White Willow and Crack Willow, but this is not confirmed.[1] Salix alba 'Vitellina' (Golden Willow; syn. Salix alba var. vitellina (L.) Stokes) is a cultivar grown in gardens for its shoots, which are golden-yellow for 1–2 years before turning brown. It is particularly decorative in winter; the best effect is achieved by coppicing it every 2–3 years to stimulate the production of longer young shoots with better colour. Other similar cultivars include 'Britzensis', 'Cardinal', and 'Chermesina', selected for even brighter orange-red shoots. Salix alba 'Sericea' (Silver Willow) is a cultivar where the white hairs on the leaves are particularly dense, giving it more strongly silvery-white foliage. Salix alba 'Vitellina-Tristis' (Golden Weeping Willow, synonym 'Tristis') is a weeping cultivar with yellow branches that become reddish-orange in winter. It is now rare in cultivation and has been largely replaced by Salix Sepulcralis Group 'Chrysocoma'. It is, however, still the best choice in very cold parts of the world like Canada, the Northern U.S.A., and Russia. The Golden Hybrid Weeping Willow (Salix Sepulcralis Group 'Chrysocoma') is a hybrid between White Willow and Peking Willow Salix babylonica. [edit] Medicinal uses Salix alba tincture Hippocrates, Galen, Pliny the Elder and others knew that willow bark could ease aches and pains and reduce fevers.[4] It has long been used in Europe and China for the treatment of these conditions.[5] This remedy is also mentioned in texts from ancient Egypt, Sumer, and Assyria.[6] The Reverend Edmund Stone, a vicar from Chipping Norton in Oxfordshire, England, noted in 1763 that willow bark was effective in reducing a fever.[7] The bark is often macerated in ethanol to produce a tincture. The active extract of the bark, called salicin, after the Latin name Salix, 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 acid in its pure state. Salicylic acid, like aspirin, is a chemical derivative of salicin ( )

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1 Comment

Hema Shah
Hema Shah 6 years ago

nice series. Thnx for the closeup of the leaves.
This tree has many medicinal properties.

Heerlen, Limburg, Netherlands

Lat: 50.88, Long: 5.99

Spotted on Mar 22, 2012
Submitted on Mar 30, 2012

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