Herb: Woolly Willow


Latin name: Salix lanata


Family: Salicaceae (Willow Family)



Medicinal use of Woolly Willow:

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:



Plant:
Deciduous
Shrub

Height:
150 cm
(5 feet)

Flovering:
May to
July

Habitat of the herb:

Damp ledges of basic rocks on mountains, 550 - 1000 metres. A very rare plant in Britain, found only in Scotland.

Edible parts of Woolly Willow:

Inner bark - raw or cooked. It can be dried, ground into a powder and then 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 - raw or cooked. They are not very palatable.

Other uses of the herb:

Plants are grown as a low hedge at Wisley. They can also be grown as a ground cover when spaced about 1.2 metres apart each way.

Propagation of Woolly 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:

Damp ledges of basic rocks on mountains, 550 - 1000 metres. A very rare plant in Britain, found only in Scotland.

Known hazards of Salix lanata:

None known

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.