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Salix caprea - L.

Common Name Goat Willow, Kilmarnock Willow, Pink Pussy Willow, Pussy Willow
Family Salicaceae
USDA hardiness 4-9
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Woods, scrub and hedges, usually on basic soils, to 840 metres[17].
Range Europe, including Britain, from Norway south and east to Spain, temperate Asia and Syria.
Edibility Rating    (1 of 5)
Other Uses    (0 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (2 of 5)
Care
Fully Hardy Well drained soil Moist Soil Wet Soil Semi-shade Full sun
Salix caprea Goat Willow, Kilmarnock Willow, Pink Pussy Willow, Pussy Willow


http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Cleaned-Illustration_Salix_caprea.jpg
Salix caprea Goat Willow, Kilmarnock Willow, Pink Pussy Willow, Pussy Willow

 

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Summary

Bloom Color: Yellow. Main Bloom Time: Early spring, Late spring, Mid spring. Form: Rounded.


Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of lolypop
Salix caprea is a deciduous Tree growing to 10 m (32ft) by 8 m (26ft) at a fast rate.
It is hardy to zone (UK) 5 and is not frost tender. It is in flower from March to April, and the seeds ripen in May. The species is dioecious (individual flowers are either male or female, but only one sex is to be found on any one plant so both male and female plants must be grown if seed is required). and is pollinated by Bees. The plant is not self-fertile.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and can grow in heavy clay soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers dry moist or wet soil. The plant can tolerate maritime exposure.
It can tolerate atmospheric pollution.

Synonyms

Habitats

Woodland Garden Canopy; Secondary; Ground Cover; Hedge;

Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Inner bark;  Leaves;  Manna.
Edible Uses:

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[172]. Young shoots - raw or cooked. They are not very palatable[172]. The source of an edible manna[183]. No further details.

Medicinal Uses



Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.

Anodyne;  Aphrodisiac;  Astringent;  Febrifuge;  Ophthalmic;  Stimulant.

The fresh bark of all members of this genus contains salicin[226], which probably decomposes into salicylic acid (closely related to aspirin) in the human body[213]. This is used as an anodyne and febrifuge[226]. A decoction of the leaves is used in the treatment of fevers[240]. A distilled water from the flowers is aphrodisiac, cordial and stimulant[240]. It is used externally in the treatment of headaches and ophthalmia[240]. The ashes of the wood are useful in the treatment of haemoptysis[240]. The stems and the leaves are astringent[240]. A gum and the juice of the trees are used to increase visual powers[240].

Other Uses

Basketry;  Charcoal;  Hedge;  Hedge;  Leather;  Pioneer;  Shelterbelt;  Tannin;  Wood.

The stems are very flexible and are used in basket making[61]. 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 bark is tough and flexible, it is used as a substitute for leather[115]. The bark contains around 10% tannin[223]. The plant is fast growing and tolerant of maritime exposure, it can be used as a windbreak hedge and shelterbelt though it is of untidy habit[75]. The seeds are very light and so can travel some distance in the wind. The plant is therefore able to find its way to areas such as cleared woodland where the soil has been disturbed. Seedlings will grow away quickly, even in exposed conditions and the plant will provide good shelter for the establishment of woodland plants. Thus it makes a good pioneer species and, except in wetter and moorland-type soils, will eventually be largely out-competed by the other woodland trees. Its main disadvantage as a pioneer plant is that it has an extensive root system and is quite a greedy plant, thus it will not help as much in enriching the soil for the other woodland plants as other pioneer species such as the alders, Alnus species[K]. Some cultivars can be grown as ground cover[208]. 'Pendula' is female whilst 'Kilmarnock' is a male, they should be spaced about 1.5 metres apart each way[208]. Wood - soft, elastic, easily split. Used for baskets, rugs etc[46, 61]. A good quality charcoal is made from the wood[46, 61].

Cultivation details

Landscape Uses:Border, Massing, Pollard, Standard, Specimen. Succeeds in most soils, including wet, ill-drained or intermittently flooded soils[1], but prefers a damp, heavy soil in a sunny position. Grows in drier soils than any other British species of Salix[186]. Rarely thrives on chalk[200]. Plants are found most frequently on basic soils in the wild[17]. Tolerates atmospheric pollution and exposed positions, including maritime exposure[75, 186]. A fast growing tree, it establishes well[75]. The tree has an untidy habit[75]. A light demanding tree, it becomes tall and drawn when grown in woodland, though it grows well along the sunnier edges[186]. Hybridizes freely with other members of this genus[200]. Although the flowers are produced in catkins early in the year, they are pollinated by bees and other insects rather than by the wind[11]. Trees are very tolerant of cutting, they coppice well[186]. Plants in this genus are notably susceptible to honey fungus[200]. Dioecious. Male and female plants must be grown if seed is required. Special Features:Not North American native, Wetlands plant, Attractive flowers or blooms.

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Propagation

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. Cuttings of this species do not root well[200]. Plant into their permanent positions in the autumn. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, June to August in a frame. Cuttings of this species do not root well[200].

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :

Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameEdibility RatingMedicinal Rating
Salix acutifoliaSharp-Leaf Willow12
Salix aegyptiaca 12
Salix alaxensisFeltleaf Wiillow12
Salix albaWhite Willow13
Salix alba caeruleaCricket Bat Willow13
Salix alba vitellinaGolden Willow13
Salix 'Americana' 02
Salix amygdaloidesPeach Leaved Willow02
Salix appendiculata 12
Salix arenaria 12
Salix atrocinereaRusty Sallow, large gray willow03
Salix auritaEared Sallow02
Salix babylonicaWeeping Willow, Babylon Weeping Willow13
Salix bakko 12
Salix bebbianaBeak Willow, Bebb Willow02
Salix 'Bowles hybrid' 12
Salix brachycarpashortfruit willow12
Salix chaenomeloidesJapanese Pussy Willow12
Salix cinereaGrey Willow, Large gray willow03
Salix commutataundergreen willow12
Salix daphnoidesViolet Willow, Daphne willow12
Salix decipiens 12
Salix eriocephalaMissouri Willow, Missouri River willow02
Salix exiguaCoyote Willow, Narrowleaf willow12
Salix fluviatilisRiver Willow02
Salix 'Forbiana' 12
Salix fragilisCrack Willow13
Salix gilgianaWillow12
Salix gooddingiiGoodding's Willow12
123

 

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Expert comment

Author

L.

Botanical References

1117200

Links / References

For a list of references used on this page please go here

Readers comment

M Moore   Thu Dec 8 2005

Regarding:[61] Usher. G. A Dictionary of Plants Used by Man. Constable 1974 ISBN 0094579202 Forget the sexist title,this is one of the best books on the subject. Lists a very extensive range of useful plants from around the world with very brief details of the uses. Not for the casual reader. Sexist title? Give me a break. We are all of mankind, get over it!

Jose Waizel-Bucay   Thu Aug 27 2009

Synonyms: S. bakko Kimura; S. coaetanea Flod; S. hultenii Flod.

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