Herb: Goodding's Willow


Latin name: Salix gooddingii


Family: Salicaceae (Willow Family)



Medicinal use of Goodding's Willow:

A decoction of the leaves and bark have been used as a febrifuge. The following uses are for the closely related S. nigra. They probably also apply to this species. The bark is anodyne, anti-inflammatory, antiperiodic, antiseptic, astringent, diaphoretic, diuretic, febrifuge, hypnotic, sedative, tonic. It has been used in the treatment of gonorrhoea, ovarian pains and nocturnal emissions. 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. The fresh bark contains salicin, which probably decomposes into salicylic acid (closely related to aspirin) in the human body. This is used as an anodyne and febrifuge and as an ingredient of spring tonics.

Description of the plant:



Plant:
Deciduous
Tree

Height:
10 m
(33 feet)

Flovering:
April

Habitat of the herb:

Found in desert, desert grassland and oak woodland habitats, it is most abundant on nutrient-rich floodplains. Found at elevations between 60 - 1200 metres.

Edible parts of Goodding's Willow:

A honeydew can be obtained from the cut branches. The young shoots can be made into a tea. Leaves and the bark of twigs can be steeped to make a tea. The catkins can be eaten raw. Bark - raw or cooked. This probably refers to the inner bark.

Other uses of the herb:

The stems are used in basket making. The N. American Indians used to debark the stems and then weave a basket so tight that it could be used to hold water. 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. The small green branches can be split into two, peeled, twisted, dried and used for sewing coiled baskets. The bark has been used as a padding in babies cradles.

Propagation of Goodding's Willow:

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:

Found in desert, desert grassland and oak woodland habitats, it is most abundant on nutrient-rich floodplains. Found at elevations between 60 - 1200 metres.

Known hazards of Salix gooddingii:

None known

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.