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Salix

Common Name(s):

Phonetic Spelling
SAL-iks
Description

Willows (in the Salicaceae family) are fast-growing large trees, most common in wetlands and along stream banks where the interlacing roots will hold back soil and prevent erosion. Seeds are surrounded by cotton-like hairs that facilitate wind and water dispersal. Seedlings grow upright with alternate, lanceolate to linear leaves. On seedlings, leaf blades may clasp the stem but this character is lacking on older plants. Once established willow seedlings have rapid growth rates and can grow over less vigorous plants. Willows can be used to create living fences or even sculptures, and the branches are commonly used in basketry and weaving since the wood is flexible enough to be bent once it has been soaked in water.

This plant may be found near pond, riparian, water gardens, or naturalized area. Since pollinators and specialized bees like this plant, it could be used in a pollinator garden.

Management strategies for willows: Tree and shrub seedlings are not well managed by preemergence herbicides, and selective postemergence controls are not available. Hand pull seedlings when small.

Be cautious about planting willows near sewer lines or water pipes, because their roots will naturally gravitate to them. Most, if not all, willow species are moisture-loving plants that will seek out underground pipes carrying water.

Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#bees#weed#wildlife plant#weedy#riparian#weeds#wetlands#high maintenance#specialized bees#fast growing#pollinator plant
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#bees#weed#wildlife plant#weedy#riparian#weeds#wetlands#high maintenance#specialized bees#fast growing#pollinator plant
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Salix
    Family:
    Salicaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Woody
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Seed
    Stem Cutting
    Wildlife Value:
    Members of the Salix genus support the following specilized bees: Andrena (Parandrena) andrenoides, Andrena (Thysandrena) bisalicis, Andrena (Tylandrena) erythrogaster, Andrena (Andrena) frigida, Andrena (Micrandrena) illinoiensis, Andrena (Andrena) macoupinensis, Andrena (Trachandrena) mariae, Andrena (Parandrena) nida, Andrena (Micrandrena) nigrae, Andrena (Micrandrena) salictaria, Andrena (Parandrena) wellesleyana.
    Particularly Resistant To (Insects/Diseases/Other Problems):
    Prevents erosion
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Shrub
    Tree
    Weed
    Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Habit/Form:
    Erect
    Weeping
    Growth Rate:
    Rapid
    Maintenance:
    High
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Soil Drainage:
    Moist
  • Flowers:
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Catkin
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Leaf Shape:
    Lanceolate
    Linear
    Leaf Margin:
    Dentate
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Description:
    Bright green, lanceolate to linear leaves with toothed margins.
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
  • Landscape:
    Problems:
    Weedy