Willow is instantly recognisable with the silky, silver catkins and the drooping foliage that has an enchanting effect.
The genus is native to temperate regions of the northern hemisphere.
Salix alba (white willow) is native to Europe and western and central Asia. The huge, sweeping foliage is typically seen next to water spots where it hangs beautifully over the water’s edge. Not only does it look stunning, and provide shade on a sunny day, but it also has plenty to offer for wildlife.
Among the benefits for wildlife, caterpillars, moths, bees, and birds will all be able to make the most of white willow.
The leaves are a food source for caterpillars of some moth species, whilst the catkins provide nectar for bees. Meanwhile the branches of these trees provide shelter and nesting sites for birds.
Salix alba (white willow)
- Flowers in spring
- Fully hardy
- Can grow higher than 12m
- Moist but well-drained or poorly drained
- Full sun
- Exposed or sheltered