White Willow
Salix alba L. (Salicaceae)

Common Names
White willow, European white willow.

Description
A tree that grows to 80 feet in height, with spreading and drooping branches. Branchlets are often silky white when young; later they turn olive-brown. Leaves are 1 to 4 inches long, very narrow, sharp-pointed, very finely toothed, shiny green above and silky white below. Flowers occur in catkins.

Flowering Period
April to May.

Habitat
Stream banks, roadsides, and shaded moist areas.

Harvest
Bark during flowering time; buds in spring.

Uses
The therapeutic value of white willow buds is similar to that of Populus species. The bark is reportedly an expectorant, hemostatic, astringent, and tonic. In Appalachia, leaves and bark of different willows are used in a tea to break up fever.

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