Willow

willow, credit: ©iStockphoto.com/Essentials collection/AlinaMD

Identification

  • Willow can exceed 10 m in height depending on species
  • Four buds completely encircling the stem
  • Flower shape, size and colour variable, depending on species

Location

  • Variable depending on species, but usually near moist areas or near water

Harvesting Time

  • Spring to summer (bark and catkins best in spring, leaves best in summer)

Uses and Related Information

  • Shoots are watery in taste and texture, and can be used similarly to cucumber
  • Catkins can be cooked with other vegetables or added to soups for a boost of vitamin C
  • Bark contains salicin (similar to Aspirin or acetylsalicylic acid) and can be chewed or made into a tea that is said to relieve pain, inflammation and digestive problems
  • Leaves and twigs can be boiled to make a rinse that is said to increase the shininess of hair and reduce dandruff

Cautions

Do not consume willow if you have a known sensitivity to Aspirin

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