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Common Name: Almond-Leaved Willow
Salix triandra is a deciduous tree that can grow up to 9.00 metres tall.
It is harvested from the wild for local use as a food, medicine and source of materials.
Europe, including Britain, from Norway south and east to Spain, Japan and Iran in temperate Asia
Sides of rivers and ponds, marshes etc. Common in England, less so in Wales and very local in Scotland[
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[
]. Does best in wet seasons[
A good bee plant, providing a source of pollen and nectar early in the year[
]. The flowers are especially fragrant for a willow[
Plants are best put into their permanent positions as soon as possible[
]. The root system is rather aggressive and can cause problems with drains[
]. It is best not to grow this species within 10 metres of a building.
Often cultivated for its stems, which are used in basket making[
], there are many named varieties[
]. The stems should be cut down almost to ground level each winter in order to produce long flexible canes[
The smooth flaking bark has a smell of almonds[
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.
Inner bark - raw or cooked. It can be dried, ground into a powder and then added to cereal flour for use in making bread etc. A very bitter flavour, it is a famine food that is only used when all else fails[
Young shoots - cooked. Not very palatable[
]. One report says that the stems have a sweet flavour[
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. They are highly valued[
]. 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.
A yellow dye is obtained from the bark and young leaves[
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.