• Cultivars and Hybrids of White Willow
  • Today, White Willow Bark Extract is an anti-inflammatory, a fever reducer, an analgesic, an anti-rheumatic, and an astringent. Specifically, it can help to relieve headaches and ease pain associated with inflammatory conditions like rheumatism, arthritis, and carpal tunnel syndrome.
     


    White Willow
     

    White willow i.e. salix alba, is a species of willow native to Europe and western and central Asia. The name derives from the white tone to the undersides of the leaves.

    A number of cultivars and hybrids have been selected for forestry and horticultural use:

    Salix alba 'Caerulea' (cricket-bat willow; syn. Salix alba var. caerulea (Sm.) Sm.; Salix caerulea Sm.) is grown as a specialist timber crop in Britain, mainly for the production of cricket bats, and for other uses where a tough, lightweight wood that does not splinter easily is required. It is distinguished mainly by its growth form, very fast-growing with a single straight stem, and also by its slightly larger leaves (10–11 cm long, 1.5–2 cm wide) with a more blue-green colour. Its origin is unknown; it may be a hybrid between white willow and crack willow, but this is not confirmed.

    Salix alba 'Vitellina' (golden willow; syn. Salix alba var. vitellina (L.) Stokes) is a cultivar grown in gardens for its shoots, which are golden-yellow for one to two years before turning brown. It is particularly decorative in winter; the best effect is achieved by coppicing it every two to three years to stimulate the production of longer young shoots with better colour. Other similar cultivars include 'Britzensis', 'Cardinal', and 'Chermesina', selected for even brighter orange-red shoots.

    Salix alba 'Sericea' (silver willow) is a cultivar where the white hairs on the leaves are particularly dense, giving it more strongly silvery-white foliage. This cultivar has gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit.

    Salix alba 'Vitellina-Tristis' (golden weeping willow, synonym 'Tristis') is a weeping cultivar with yellow branches that become reddish-orange in winter. It is now rare in cultivation and has been largely replaced by Salix sepulchralis group 'Chrysocoma'. It is, however, still the best choice in very cold parts of the world, such as Canada, the northern US, and Russia.

    The golden hybrid weeping willow (Salix sepulchralis group 'Chrysocoma') is a hybrid between white willow and Peking willow Salix babylonica.

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