Herb: Scouler's Willow


Latin name: Salix scouleriana


Family: Salicaceae (Willow Family)



Medicinal use of Scouler's Willow:

A poultice of the inner cambium has been used in the treatment of serious cuts. A poultice of the damp inner bark has been applied to the skin over a broken bone. The shredded inner bark has been used as sanitary napkins to "heal a woman's insides". A poultice of the bark and sap has been used in the treatment of bleeding wounds. A decoction of the roots has been used in the treatment of dysentery. A decoction of the branches has been taken by women for several months after giving birth in order to increase the blood flow. 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
Tree

Height:
10 m
(33 feet)

Flovering:
April

Habitat of the herb:

Found on both moist lowland and dry upland areas, growing in a range of habitats from upland bogs and riversides to meadows, roadsides and cleared areas in forests, from sea level to 3000 metres.

Other uses of Scouler's Willow:

The stems are very flexible and are used in basket making. They have also been used to sew the bark on canoes and make hoops. 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 roots have been used to make baskets. The bark can be twisted into cord and used for making bags and clothes. The branches and the bark can be twisted into a strong rope. The bark has been used for sowing birch bark onto basket frames. Wood - light, soft, close-grained. It has no commercial value, but it is used locally for fuel, charcoal and tool handles.

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 Scouler's Willow:

Found on both moist lowland and dry upland areas, growing in a range of habitats from upland bogs and riversides to meadows, roadsides and cleared areas in forests, from sea level to 3000 metres.

Known hazards of Salix scouleriana:

None known

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.