Herb: Slender Willow

Latin name: Salix petiolaris

Synonyms: Salix gracilis

Family: Salicaceae (Willow Family)

Medicinal use of Slender 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:


3 m
(9 3/4 foot)


Habitat of the herb:

River banks and the shallow margins of streams, also in water meadows.

Other uses of Slender Willow:

The stems are very flexible and are used in basket making. 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.

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. 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 Slender Willow:

River banks and the shallow margins of streams, also in water meadows.

Known hazards of Salix petiolaris:

None known

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.