Herb latin name: Salix nipponica

Synonyms: Salix subfragilis

Family: Salicaceae (Willow Family)

Medicinal use of Salix nipponica:

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:

Wet lowlands all over Japan.

Edible parts of Salix nipponica:

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 - cooked. Not very palatable.

Other uses of the herb:

The following uses are for the closely related S. triandra and probably also apply to this species. The stems are very flexible and are used in basket making. They are highly valued. 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. A yellow dye is obtained from the bark and young leaves.

Propagation of Salix nipponica:

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:

Wet lowlands all over Japan.

Known hazards of Salix nipponica:

None known

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.