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(Blog Masters Note:
I apologize to my readers for the delay in posting. I was a necessary delay for reasons of the heart. I have been dating, and will probably not post until after the holidays. This is a happy time for me. Happy Holidays!!!

Medical disclaimer: always check with a physician before consuming wild plants, and make positive identification in the field using a good source such as Medicinal Plants of the Mountain West.  Michael Moore also has a glossary of medical terms in his books, and maps in later editions. ) 
(Blog Masters Note: At the bottom I am going to cover Weeping Willow, it has no range listed on usda, but is familiar to us as a nursery plant and we grow it in our yards. I know this year, a drought year, the deer are eating the bottom leaves.
All past posts for Wild Edible And Medicinal Plants  are now located in a drop-down search below comments.)

Common Name: Willow
Latin Name:
Salix spp
Family: Salicaceae
Range:
http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=salix Main database for Willow, all of North America.
http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=SANI All states east of the Mississippi R. and along the west bank, plus Nebraska to Texas and Colorado; In Canada; Manitoba to Quebec and New Brunswick. (Salix nigra)
http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=SAPE4 Pennsylavia New Jersey north through New England plus Maryland, Virginia, N. Carolina, all States north of the Ohio River, Minnesota, Iowa, N. and S. Dakota, Nebraska, Montana, Wyoming, Colorado and Alaska; In Candada all lower providences except Labrador. (Salix pentandra)
 http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=SAPU15 Alaska; In Canada; Yukon, Northwest Territories, Nunavut and British Columbia. (Salix pulchra)
http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=SASC All States west of the Rocky Mountains, plus S. Dakota and Alaska; In Canada; British Columbia to Saskatchewan, Yukon and Northwest Territories (Salix scouleriana)
Photos : (Click on Latin name after common name )

Warnings: No warnings except on Salix pentandra
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#169 (o)
Common Name: Black Willow, Gulf Black Willow ( Salix nigra )
Appearance and Habitat:
A fast-growing tree, 10-60 ft., with an open crown often with several trunks growing out at angles from one root. Found in wet soil along streams and at the margins of ponds and lakes. Leaf blades up to 5 inches long, narrow and tapering to an elongate tip, margins finely serrate. Bright yellow-green twigs bear yellow-green catkins. Flowers inconspicuous, arranged in elongate clusters which appear in March and April; male and female flowers on separate trees. Seeds wind-borne on silky hairs. The bark is deeply furrowed. This is the largest and most important New World willow, with one of the most extensive ranges across the country. In the lower Mississippi Valley it attains commercial timber size, reaching 100-140 (30-42 m) in height and 4 (1.2 m) in diameter. Large trees are valuable in binding soil banks, thus preventing soil erosion and flood damage. Mats and poles made from Black Willow trunks and branches provide further protection of riverbanks and levees. One of the lightest of all eatern hardwoods, it is extremely weak in a structural sense. Yet it has a strength of its own. When nails are driven into it, black willow does not split. Also a shade tree and honey plant.(1) Found on a large variety of soils, as long as they are wet, by steamsides, shores and rich low woods in eastern N. America – Maine to Minnesota, south to Texas. A deciduous tree growing to 12 m (39ft 4in) at a fast rate. It is hardy to zone 4 and is not frost tender. It is in flower in April, and the seeds ripen in May.(2) 
Edible Uses: 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.(3) 
Medicinal Uses : The bark is anodyne, anti-inflammatory, antiperiodic, antiseptic, astringent, diaphoretic, diuretic, febrifuge, hypnotic, sedative, tonic. It has been used in the treatment of gonorrhoea, 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, diarrhoea, dysentery, feverish illnesses, neuralgia and headache. The bark can be used as a poultice on cuts, wounds, sprains, bruises, swellings etc. 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. The leaves can be harvested throughout the growing season and are used fresh or dried. The fresh bark contains salicin, which probably decomposes into salicylic acid (closely related to aspirin) in the human body. This is used as an anodyne and febrifuge and as an ingredient of spring tonics. (4)
Foot Notes: (1)http://www.wildflower.org/plants/result.php?id_plant=SANI
Foot Notes: ( 2, 3, 4) http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Salix+nigra
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#169 (p)
Common Name: Laurel Willow, Bay Leaved Willow, Bay Willow ( Salix pentandra )
Appearance and Habitat:
Introduced and escaped. A perennial tree to 25 feet, when in bloom it has catkins similar to Salix Serissima, but longer. The leaf is lance-like to oblong, shiny dark green above, lighter green below. It’s habitat is swamps and bogs.(1) Streamsides, marshes, fens, and wet woods, ascending to 450 meteres. Native in N. Britain, planted elsewhere. Europe from Norway south and east to te Pyrennees, Siberia, Caucasus and W. Asia. It is hardy to zone 5 and is not frost tender. It is in flower in May, and the seeds ripen in June.(2)
Warnings: Gastrointestinal bleeding and Kidney damage possible. Avoid concurrent administration with other asprin like drugs. Avoid during pregnany. Drug interactions associated with salicylates applicable.(3)
Edible Uses: 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 – cooked. Not very palatable.(4)
Medicinal Uses : 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 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. The leaves can be harvested throughout the growing season and are used fresh or dried. The German Commission E Monographs, a therapeutic guide to herbal medicine, approve Salix / Willow for diseases accompanied by fever, rheumatic ailments, headaches.(5)
Foot Notes: (1)http://wisplants.uwsp.edu/scripts/detail.asp?SpCode=SALPEN
Foot Notes: ( 2, 3, 4, 5)http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Salix+pentandra
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#169 (q)
Common Name: Tealeaf Willow, ( Salix pulchra )
Appearance and Habitat:
Stream banks, lake sides, open woods etc in norther-western N. America. Found in N. Europe, N. Asia and Northern N. America. A deciduous shrub growing to 1 m (3ft 3in) by 1 m (3ft 3in). It is hardy to zone 2 and is not frost tender.
Edible Uses: Inner bark – raw or cooked. It can be dried, ground into a powder and then used as a thickener in soups or can be 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 and leaves – raw or cooked. They are not very palatable. The leaves and shoots can be eaten with oil to make them more palatable. A good source of vitamin C, they are one of the first new leaves to be produced in the spring. The leaves can be added to soups or eaten in mixed salads. Catkins. No more details are given. The dried leaves have been used to make a tea.
Medicinal Uses : An infusion of the leaves and bark has been used as an anaesthetic.The bark and the leaves have been chewed to numb the mouth and throat. They have also been chewed as a treatment for mouth sores and are said to make the mouth smell good. The cottony seed floss has been used to dry moist eyes. 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 febrifugeThe 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.
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Salix+pulchra
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#169 (q)
Common Name: Scouler’s Willow, Western Pussy Willow ( Salix scouleriana)

Appearance and Habitat: Scoulers Willow or Western pussy willow is a tall shrub or tree, growing to 30 ft., with dark green, broadly lance-shaped leaves clustered at the ends of the twigs. Stems are slender with gray-green bark. Silvery-gray, furry catkins appear before leaf emergence. Freshly stripped bark of twigs usually has skunklike odor. This species is sometimes called Fire Willow because it rapidly occupies burned areas, forming blue-green thickets. A pussy willow and one of the earliest flowering species, it is an important browse plant for moose in Alaska and for sheep and cattle elsewhere. It is one of several species sometimes forming diamond willow; these stems with diamond-shaped patterns caused by fungi are in demand for canes, novelties, and furniture posts. It is named for its discoverer, John Scouler (1804-71), the Scottish naturalist and physician.(1) Found on both moist lowland and dry upland areas, growing in a range of habitats from upland bogs and riversides to meadows, roadsides and cleared areas in forests, from sea level to 3000 meters in western N. America – Alaska to California and New Mexico. It is hardy to zone 6 and is not frost tender. A deciduous tree growing to 10 m (32ft 10in) at a fast rate. It is in flower in April, and the seeds ripen in May.(2)
Edible Uses: None(3)
Medicinal Uses : A poultice of the inner cambium has been used in the treatment of serious cuts. A poultice of the damp inner bark has been applied to the skin over a broken bone. The shredded inner bark has been used as sanitary napkins to ‘heal a woman’s insides’. A poultice of the bark and sap has been used in the treatment of bleeding wounds. A decoction of the roots has been used in the treatment of dysentery. A decoction of the branches has been taken by women for several months after giving birth in order to increase the blood flow. 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.(4)
Foot Notes: (1) http://www.wildflower.org/plants/result.php?id_plant=SASC
Foot Notes: ( 2, 3, 4) http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Salix+scouleriana
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#169 (r)
Common Name: Weeping Willow, ( Salix babylonica )
Appearance and Habitat:
Not known in a truly wild situation. The origins of this species is obscure. A deciduous tree growing to 12 m (39ft) by 12 m (39ft) at a fast rate. It is hardy to zone 5 and is not frost tender. It is in flower in April, and the seeds ripen in May.
Edible Uses: 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 and flower buds – cooked. Not very palatable. Older leaves are used to adulterate tea. A source of a manna-like substance.
Medicinal Uses : The leaves and bark are antirheumatic, astringent and tonic. A decoction of the leaves is used in the treatment of abscesses, carbuncle, fever, rheumatism, skin diseases, ulcers etc. An infusion of the bark has been used to treat diarrhoea and fevers. The bark can be used as a poultice. The stem bark is used in the treatment of skin eruptions due to parasites. The root bark is used in a bath for the treatment of parasitic skin diseases. A gum from the stems is used in the treatment of foul sores. The down of the seeds is used in the treatment of fevers, haemorrhages, jaundice, rheumatism etc. 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.
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Salix+babylonica
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(Now for Michael Moore who covers all in the west.)
Appearance and Habitat: Willows close relative is Poplus and is used in primarily the same way. Willows seem to adapt and change throughout the west, mutating from stream to stream. Their bark is easy to peel than that of the Poplars. Willow trees can be found with yellow, gary, black bark, as small trees with brownish wringled bark. They all tend to have lace-shaped thin leaves, that are hairless, and have short stems. They bear catkins in the spring, either before, or after, the leaves appear. They can be mistaken for narrow leaf Cottonwood would if you live in Arizona, Utah, Wyoming, New Mexico or Colorado. But seeing as how the uses are similar it makes no difference when it comes to using narrow leaf Cottonwood. One major difference is the catkins of the Willow are usually upright where the Cottonwoods tend to droop. The smaller stemmy Willows grow along creeks and streams though our the west, from sea level to 10,000 feet. They are abundant through out the west.
Warnings: Do not take internally with anticoagulant drugs, immunosupressant organ transplants or if allergic to asprin
Medicinal Uses : Collect the bark and twigs, take from the newer branches that they seem to be more potent. Remove the leaves and allow the branch to dry after being cut. Once dried small pieces of stem can be used. Uses are mainly for headache, neuralgia, fevers and hay fever as a tea. But foliage can also be used as a poultice for ulcerated, infected wounds or as an external wash for wounds along with eczema. To make a strong wash, boil the plant in twice it’s volume for at least a half hour. Add some boric acid, at a rate of a tablespoon per pint and use as often as needed. For the tea, for internal use of headaches, fevers, inflammated joints etc. use the bark and take 2 to 4 ounces of tea up to 4 times a day. For the internal tea, combine 32 part water with 1 part bark by weight, bring to a boil and continue to let boil for 10 minutes. Strain out the bark and return the water level to its original volume.
Medicinal Plants of the Mountain West 2nd Edition, by Michael Moore, pages 257-259, Publisher: Museum of New Mexico Press, Copyright 2003, ISBN 0-89013-454-5

Reproduced, in part, (as well as previous postings under this title) in accordance with Section 107 of title 17 of the Copyright Law of the United States relating to fair-use and is for the purposes of criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research.
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