About This Plant

The white willow, scientifically known as Salix alba, is a deciduous tree native to Europe and parts of Asia. It is recognized for its slender, lance-shaped leaves and flexible branches. White willows are commonly found near water bodies and wetland areas due to their preference for moist soil. They are valued for their medicinal properties, as the bark contains salicin, a compound used in the development of aspirin. Additionally, white willow wood has been historically used in crafting items such as baskets and furniture.

The Story

Leaf

The leaves of Salix alba are lance-shaped, narrow, and typically have serrated edges. They are usually about 5 to 10 centimetres long, with a slightly greyish-green hue on the upper surface and a lighter, silvery colour on the underside.

Produce

The tree produces small, cylindrical catkins in the spring before the leaves appear. These catkins are dioecious, meaning that male and female flowers are borne on separate trees. The female catkins develop into small capsules, each containing numerous tiny seeds with cottony fibres that aid in wind dispersal.
Home » Attractions » The Arboretum » Features » White Willow