Herbs & Plants

Salix exigua

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Botanical Name ;Salix exigua
Family: Salicaceae
Genus: Salix
Species: S. exigua
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Malpighiales

Synonyms: S. argophylla, S. hindsiana, S. interior, S. linearifolia, S. luteosericea, S. malacophylla, S. nevadensis, S. parishiana

Common Names :Sandbar Willow, Narrowleaf Willow, or Coyote Willow

Habitat : Salix exigua is  native to most of North America except for the southeast and far north, occurring from Alaska east to New Brunswick, and south to northern Mexico

Salix exigua is a deciduous shrub reaching 4–7 m (13–23 ft) in height, spreading by basal shoots to form dense clonal colonies. The leaves are narrow lanceolate, 4–12 cm (1.6–4.7 in) long and 2–10 mm (0.079–0.39 in) broad, green, to grayish with silky white hairs at least when young; the margin is entire or with a few irregular, widely spaced small teeth. The flowers are produced in catkins in late spring, after the leaves appear. It is dioecious, with staminate and pistillate catkins on separate plants, the male catkins up to 10 cm (3.9 in) long, the female catkins up to 8 cm (3.1 in) long. The fruit is a cluster of capsules, each containing numerous minute seeds embedded in shiny white silk.

There are two subspecies, which meet in the western Great Plains:

1.Salix exigua subsp. exigua. Western North America. Leaves grayish all summer with persistent silky hairs; seed capsules 3–6 mm (0.12–0.24 in) long.

2.Salix exigua subsp. interior (Rowlee) Cronq. (syn. S. interior Rowlee). Eastern and central North America. Leaves usually lose hairs and become green by summer, only rarely remaining pubescent; seed capsules 5–8 mm (0.20–0.31 in) long.

It is considered a threatened species in the eastern United States in Connecticut, Maryland, and Massachusetts.

This willow had many uses for Native Americans; the branches were used as flexible poles and building materials, the smaller twigs were used to make baskets, the bark was made into cord and string, and the bark and leaves had several medicinal uses

Medicinal Uses:
The bark of Salix exigua has been used in the treatment of sore throats, coughs and certain fevers. A decoction of the dried roots has been used in the treatment of venereal diseases. 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. The leaves of Salix exigua are soaked in water, and the liquid is used as an emetic.

Disclaimer:The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider


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