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Common Name: Slender Willow
Salix petiolaris is a Deciduous Shrub up to 3.00 metres tall.
It has medicinal and miscellaneous uses.
Eastern N. America - Quebec to Alberta, south to New York, Wisconsin and Minnesota.
River banks and the shallow margins of streams, also in water meadows[
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 but short-lived species[
], it is cultivated for basketry in Europe[
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[
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 very flexible and 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.
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.