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Herbs & Plants

Salix purpurea

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

Common Names:Purple Willow or Purple Osier, purpleosier willow

Habitat ;Salix purpurea grows in Europe, including Britain, from Belgium south and east to N. Africa, temperate Asia to Japan.It is found in wet places in lowland areas, preferring neutral or alkaline soils.

Description:
Salix purpurea is a deciduous Tree growing to 5 m (16ft) by 5 m (16ft) at a fast rate.
It is hardy to zone 5 and is not frost tender. It is in flower from Mar to April, and the seeds ripen in May. The flowers are 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 are pollinated by Bees.The plant is not self-fertile.
It is noted for attracting wildlife.

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The plant prefers light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and can grow in heavy clay soil.The plant prefers acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. and can grow in saline soils.
It cannot grow in the shade.It requires dry moist or wet soil.

Cultivation:
Succeeds in most soils, including wet, ill-drained or intermittently flooded soils, but prefers a damp, heavy soil in a sunny position[200]. Plants prefer an alkaline or neutral soil, rarely doing well in acid conditions. Said to prefer a sandy soil, plants are tolerant of dryish soils. Plants are tolerant of salt water. A very ornamental plant, it is cultivated for its branches which are used in basket making, there are some named varieties. Plants are coppiced annually for this purpose[186] A very important food plant for the caterpillars of many butterfly species and a good bee plant, providing an early source of nectar and pollen. Plants in this genus are notably susceptible to honey fungus. Plants should be put into their permanent positions as soon as possible. Dioecious. Male and female plants must be grown if seed is required.

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. Very easy. Plant into their permanent positions in the autumn. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, June to August in a frame. Very easy

Edible Uses :
Edible Parts: Inner bark;  Leaves.

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. Young shoots – raw or cooked. They are not very palatable

Medicinal Uses:
Anodyne;  Antiinflammatory;  Antiperiodic;  Antiseptic;  Astringent;  Diaphoretic;  Diuretic;  Febrifuge;  Hypnotic;  Sedative;  Tonic.

The bark is anodyne, anti-inflammatory, antiperiodic, antiseptic, astringent, diaphoretic, diuretic, febrifuge, hypnotic, sedative and tonic. It is a very rich source of salicin, which is used in making aspirin. The bark of this species is used interchangeably with S. alba. It is taken internally in the treatment of rheumatism, arthritis, gout, inflammatory stages of auto-immune diseases, diarrhoea, dysentery, feverish illnesses, neuralgia and headache. The bark is removed during the summer and dried for later use. The leaves are used internally in the treatment of minor feverish illnesses and colic, cancerous sores and chronic dysentery. The leaves can be harvested throughout the growing season and are used fresh or dried. The twigs are used in the treatment of cancer, dysentery and ulcers. The bark of the stem and roots is anodyne and styptic. It is used in the treatment of rheumatism

Other Uses
BasketryHedge;  Hedge;  Repellent;  Soil reclamation;  Soil stabilization;  Tannin.

The stems are very tough and flexible and are used in basket making. 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 much disliked by rabbits, so a closely woven fence of this plant can be used as a protective barrier. The bark contains about 10% tannin. Plants can be grown as a hedge, the var. ‘Gracilis’ is suitable for a small hedge on damp sites. It can be kept dense by annual clipping. The plant has an extensive root system and is used in soil reclamation and stabilization projects along estuaries.

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

Resources;
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Salix+purpurea
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salix_purpurea

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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

Description:
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.

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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

Resources:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salix_exigua
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_UZ.htm
http://www.wildflower.org/gallery/result.php?id_image=24398

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Black Willow

Botanical Name ; Salix nigra

Family: Salicaceae
Genus: Salix
Species: S. nigra
Order: Malpighiales
Kingdom: Plantae

Common Name : Black Willow,
Another name occasionally used for Black Willow is “swamp willow”, not to be confused with Salix myrtilloides (Swamp Willow).

Habitat :Salix nigra is  native to eastern North America, from New Brunswick and southern Ontario west to Minnesota, and south to northern Florida and Texas.It is typically found along streams and in swamps.

Description;
It is a medium-sized deciduous tree, the largest North American species of willow, growing to 10-30 m tall, exceptionally up to 45 m, with a trunk 50–80 cm diameter. The bark is dark brown to blackish, becoming fissured in older trees frequently forking near the base. The shoots are slender, variable in color from green to brown, yellow or purplish; they are (like the related European Salix fragilis) brittle at the base, snapping evenly at the branch junction if bent sharply. The foliage buds are small, 2–4 mm long, with a single pointed reddish-brown bud scale. The leaves are alternate, long, thin, 5-15 cm long and 0.5-2 cm broad, usually somewhat falcate, dark, shiny green on both sides or with a lighter green underside, with a finely serrated margin, a short petiole and a pair of small stipules. It is dioecious, with small, greenish yellow to yellow flowers borne on catkins 2.5-7.5 cm long in early spring at the same time as the new leaves appear. The fruit is a 5 mm capsule which splits open when mature to release the numerous minute, down-covered seeds. The leaves turn a lemon yellow in the fall.

click to see the pictures…>…..(1)…...(2)…...(3).
Salix gooddingii (Goodding’s Willow) is sometimes included in S. nigra as a variety, as S. nigra var. vallicola Dudley; when included, this extends the species’ range to western North America. However, the two are usually treated as distinct species.

Medicinal Uses;
Black Willow roots are very bitter, and have been used as a substitute for quinine in the past.

Black willow is a safe natural source of aspirin-like chemicals which helps to explain its reputation in the treatment of rheumatism and arthritis where there is much associated pain and inflammation.  It may be used as part of a wider treatment for any connective tissue inflammation anywhere in the body, but it is especially useful in rheumatoid arthritis.  It may also be used in fevers such as influenza.  The bark has been used in the treatment of gonorrhea, ovarian pains and nocturnal emissions. The bark of this species is used interchangeably with S. alba. It is taken internally in the treatment of rheumatism, arthritis, gout, inflammatory stages of auto-immune diseases, diarrhea, dysentery, feverish illnesses, neuralgia and headache. The bark can be used as a poultice on cuts, wounds, sprains, bruises, swellings etc. The leaves are used internally in the treatment of minor feverish illnesses and colic.
Other Uses: The Great Lakes Ojibwa used the young branches and twigs to make baskets and other parts were used to treat indigestion. The bark of the tree can also be used to make a bitter tea with similar chemical compounds to aspirin.

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

Resources:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salix_nigra
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_UZ.htm

http://www.wildflower.org/gallery/result.php?id_image=13167

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