Information about: Willow

Index | Willow

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Willow. A group of woody-stemmed plants of the order Salicaceae, to which the poplars also belong. Willows vary in size from those of the Alps, which are an inch or two high, to trees of from fifty to eighty feet. They are found in most countries, with the exception of Australia, and grow rapidly. They have many and large roots, which grow a long distance through moist soil, and bind it with a network of fibers, thus preventing the banks of streams from being worn away. The bark is tough and bitter. The wood is used in houses, vessels, farm tools, casks, etc., as fuel and for charcoal. The twigs and young shoots are used in making baskets and light furniture. There are some sixty North American willows, ten of which are not found elsewhere. The most important of all kinds is the white willow, common throughout Asia, Europe, and America. It sometimes reaches the height of eighty feet. It is very useful on the prairies, as it is a fast grower and also protects other trees from the wind. Other kinds are the purple, black, brittle, varnished, and bay willows. The weeping willow, a native of Asia and North Africa, has been introduced into America. It is a large tree, and one of the first to leaf out in the spring.