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Common Name: Tealeaf Willow
Salix pulchra is a deciduous shrub that can grow up to 1.00 metres tall.
It is harvested from the wild for local use as a food and medicine
N. Europe. N. Asia. Northern N. America.
Stream banks, lake sides, open woods etc in north-western N. America[
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[
Considered to be part of S. phylicifolia by some botanists[
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.
Inner bark - raw or cooked[
]. It can be dried, ground into a powder and then used as a thickener in soups or can be 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 and leaves - raw or cooked[
]. They are not very palatable[
]. The leaves and shoots can be eaten with oil to make them more palatable[
]. A good source of vitamin C, they are one of the first new leaves to be produced in the spring[
]. The leaves can be added to soups or eaten in mixed salads[
]. No more details are given.
The dried leaves have been used to make a tea[
An infusion of the leaves and bark has been used as an anaesthetic[
].The bark and the leaves have been chewed to numb the mouth and throat[
]. They have also been chewed as a treatment for mouth sores and are said to make the mouth smell good[
The cottony seed floss has been used to dry moist eyes[
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[
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.