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Black willow

Salix nigra


Bark is dark brown to blackish, becoming heavily fissured in older trees. This one is a large tree growing on the shore of Lake Belton. Large parts have died and broken off, but new growth has sprouted from lower down on the trunk. Narrow lance shaped leaves with curved tips.


Beach on shore of Lake Belton. Over the years this tree has periodically been standing in up to 15 ft. of water for weeks at a time.


Willows have been used medicinally from prehistoric times to relieve headaches, reduce fevers, and heal wounds. In 1880s, scientists synthesized the compound derived from willow bark, acetylsalycilic acid, into asprin. If necessary, willow bark even provides enough nutrition to serve as a survival food, though it will always be bitter. Native Americans used the roots for red, orange, and yellow dyes. Roots and young branches have been used in basketry and mat weaving.

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Spotted by

Texas, USA

Spotted on Apr 29, 2012
Submitted on May 4, 2012

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