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Common Name: Missouri Willow
Salix eriocephala is a Deciduous Shrub up to 4.00 metres tall.
It has medicinal and miscellaneous uses.
Eastern and Central N. America - Newfoundland to Nebraska, south to Mississippi.
Sandy to rocky soils, near rivers, creeks and swamps[
]. Sand bars along rivers[
Succeeds in most soils, including wet, ill-drained or intermittently flooded soils[
], but prefers a damp, heavy soil in a sunny position[
]. Rarely thrives on chalk[
A fast-growing and relatively long lived species[
Hybridizes freely with other members of this genus[
]. Although the flowers are produced in catkins early in the year, they are pollinated by bees and other insects rather than by the wind[
Closely related to S. mackenzieana and S. lutea[
There are some named varieties[
Plants in this genus are notably susceptible to honey fungus[
A dioecious species - both male and female forms must be grown if fruit and seed are required.
The fresh bark of all members of this genus contains salicin[
], which probably decomposes into salicylic acid (closely related to aspirin) in the human body[
]. This is used as an anodyne and febrifuge[
The stems are tough and very flexible, they are used in basket making[
]. The plant is usually coppiced annually when grown for basket making, though it is possible to coppice it every two years if thick poles are required as uprights.
The cultivar 'Green USA' is ideal as a windbreak, it tolerates very poor light soils[
The plants extensive root system make it effective at binding the soil along the sides of streams[
Wood - more durable that that of most willows, it is used for fence posts[
Seed - must be surface sown as soon as it is ripe in late spring. It has a very short viability, perhaps as little as a few days.
Cuttings of mature wood of the current year's growth, late autumn to late winter in a sheltered outdoor bed or planted straight into their permanent position and given a good weed-suppressing mulch. Very easy. Plant into their permanent positions in the autumn.
Cuttings of half-ripe wood, early summer to August in a frame. Very easy.