Herb: Rusty Sallow

Latin name: Salix atrocinerea

Synonyms: Salix cinerea oleifolia, Salix oleifera

Family: Salicaceae (Willow Family)

Medicinal use of Rusty Sallow:

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 bark of this species is used interchangeably with S. alba. It is taken internally in the treatment of rheumatism, arthritis, gout, inflammatory stages of auto-immune diseases, diarrhoea, dysentery, feverish illnesses, neuralgia and headache. The bark is removed during the summer and dried for later use. The leaves are used internally in the treatment of minor feverish illnesses and colic. The leaves can be harvested throughout the growing season and are used fresh or dried.

Description of the plant:


10 m
(33 feet)

to April

Habitat of the herb:

Common in woods and heaths, by ponds and streams, in marshes and fens, ascending to 600 metres.

Other uses of Rusty Sallow:

Plants have an extensive root system and are used to stabilize waste tips and old slag heaps. Plants are very hardy and wind-resistant, they form an excellent wind-break without any tendency to die back.

Propagation of the herb:

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. Plant into their permanent positions in the autumn. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, June to August in a frame.

Cultivation of Rusty Sallow:

Common in woods and heaths, by ponds and streams, in marshes and fens, ascending to 600 metres.

Known hazards of Salix atrocinerea:

None known

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.