Herb: Feltleaf Wiillow
Latin name: Salix alaxensis
Family: Salicaceae (Willow Family)
Medicinal use of Feltleaf Wiillow: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.
Description of the plant:
Habitat of the herb:Moist tundra and gravels. Prefers rocky soils along the sides of rivers and lakes. Grows up to and beyond the tree-line, when it becomes a small recumbent low-spreading shrub.
Edible parts of Feltleaf Wiillow:Inner bark - raw or cooked. A sweet flavour, it has been eaten as a winter titbit. The taste is somewhat like watermelon or cucumber. The bark has been used as a survival food. It can be dried, ground into a powder and used as a thickening in soups or can be added to cereal flour for use in making bread etc. Young tender leaves and shoots - raw or cooked. The shoots are peeled and eaten in spring. A source of vitamin C. The flowers have been sucked by children for the sweet nectar.
Other uses of the herb:In northern parts of this plant's range, its wood is often the sole source of firewood.
Propagation of Feltleaf Wiillow: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, November to February 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, June to August in a frame. Very easy.
Cultivation of the herb:Moist tundra and gravels. Prefers rocky soils along the sides of rivers and lakes. Grows up to and beyond the tree-line, when it becomes a small recumbent low-spreading shrub.
Known hazards of Salix alaxensis:None known
Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.