Herbs & Plants

Beaked willow

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

Common NamesBeaked willow, Long-beaked willow, Gray willow, and Bebb’s willow.

Habitat :Beaked willow is indigenous to Canada and the northern United States, from Alaska and Yukon south to California and Arizona and north-east to Newfoundland and New England.

Beaked willow plant is typically a large, fast-growing, multi-stemmed shrub or small, shrubby tree capable of forming dense colonial thickets. It can be found in loose, saturated soils such as that on riverbanks, lakesides, swamps, marshes, and bogs. It is capable or tolerating heavy clay and rocky soils, making it highly adaptable and durable. It is a dominant species in many marshland areas in its native range.
Leaves are alternately arranged, simple, anICKd ovate in shape, widest near the midrib and narrowing to a tapering base and pointed tip. The leaf edges are serrated, with large, coarse, irregular teeth, a characteristic that distinguishes the species from other willows, which have  much finer serrations on their leaves. The leaves are dull blue green in color and smooth in texture when mature; new leaves are coated in downy hairs. The leaves are up to 5 inches long and 1.5 inches wide. Like other willows, this plant is dioecious, with male and female plants producing small, dangling catkins. Female flowers yield spherical seeds covered in long, threadlike fibers that help them disperse on the wind. The plant also spreads via vegetative reproduction, sprouting from the base of the stem or from segments of root, and by layering, allowing the plant to form colonies of clones.

Medicinal Uses:
A poultice of the chewed root inner bark has been applied to a deep cut. The shredded inner bark has been used as sanitary napkins to ‘heal a woman’s insides’. A poultice of the damp inner bark has been applied to the skin over a broken bone. A decoction of the branches has been taken by women for several months after childbirth to increase the blood flow.  A poultice of the bark and sap has been applied as a wad to bleeding wounds.  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.

Other Uses:
This is the most important species of diamond willow, a type of willow which produces fine, colorful wood used for carving. The twigs and branches are used by Native Americans for basket weaving and arrowmaking.

Many parts of the plant are consumed by animals, especially domestic cattle, which find the foliage a palatable forage.

This species readily hybridizes with several other species of willow.

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.