alba - White Willow
Here are two pictures of Salix alba, White Willow showing
the growth to July.
Picture of Salix alba
Close up picture of Salix alba
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copy these images for your own use should you want. However,
we would ask you to credit us as the source of the image.
White willow is a tall graceful tree which generally
grows to between 10 and 25 m tall, though occasionally they will
top 30m. The trunk is usually well developed with the principal
boughs and branches ascending at a sharp angle to form a pointed
or truncated crown, or a number of pointed turrets.
The bark is deeply fissured and greyish-brown in colour. The twigs
of Salix alba are at first densely pubescent with adpressed,
silky hairs. They become glabrous and brown or olive in the second
year. Buds are dark brown and again generally covered with adpressed
pubescence; they are small, ovoid and pointed in shape.
White willow leaves are lanceolate-acuminate
and between 5 and 10 cm long and about 1cm wide. Their edges are
minutely serrated and the lamina at first silver/grey, this makes
Salix alba easily identifiable at a distance, and become
dull green with age.
Catkins appear with the leaves in late April
or early May. Male catkins are about 5cm long and uniformly pale
yellow, female catkins are shorter and narrower.
Salix Alba is common by rivers and streams
in lowland areas of eastern Britain & Ireland. It generally
becomes scarcer westwards, especially in Wales and Scotland.
White Willow is so widely planted that the limits
of its natural distribution can no longer be ascertained.
Varieties of Salix alba which are discussed
in other pages are extensively cultivated in the UK and hybrids
regularly occur with Salix pentandra, Salix fragilis and