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Genus: Salix

Life > eukaryotes > Archaeoplastida > Chloroplastida > Charophyta > Streptophytina > Plantae (land plants) > Tracheophyta (vascular plants) > Euphyllophyta > Lignophyta (woody plants) > Spermatophyta (seed plants) > Angiospermae (flowering plants) > Eudicotyledons > Core Eudicots > Rosids > Eurosid I > Order: Malpighiales > Family: Salicaceae

About 450 species worldwide (mainly temperate regions in the northern hemisphere), with one indigenous and three naturalised species in southern Africa. There are an additional 13 species cultivated in southern Africa and additional hybrid species. Salix babylonica (Weeping willow, Treurwilger) and Salix fragilis (Crack or brittle willow) are declared Category 2 invasive plants in South Africa.

Species native to southern Africa

List from Plants of Southern Africa - an Online Checklist (SANBI), Flora of Zimbabwe and Flora of Mozambique.

Salix mucronata (Silver willow)

A bush or tree, growing up to 12 m high, with drooping branches and lanceolate leaves that are glossy green above and pale whitish-green below. The leaf edge can be smooth or toothed. Widespread through Africa and in southern Africa is found in most regions except for large parts of Namibia, Botswana, Northern Cape and Mozambique. Usually grows along stream and river banks.

Species naturalised in southern Africa

List from Plants of Southern Africa - an Online Checklist (SANBI), Flora of Zimbabwe and Flora of Mozambique.

Salix babylonica (Weeping willow)

A distinctive, well known tree growing to about 10 m tall, with branches drooping down vertically and reaching the ground. Native to central and southern China. A declared Category 2 invasive plants in South Africa. 

Salix caprea (Goat willow, Pussy willow)

Native to Europe.

 

Salix fragilis (Crack willow, Brittle willow)

Native to Eurasia. A declared Category 2 invasive plants in South Africa.

 

Other species, cultivated in southern Africa

List from Glen (2002).

Salix alba (White willow)

Native to Eurasia. Salix alba var. vitellina (Golden willow) is also cultivated in the region.

 

Salix bonplandiana

Native to Mexico.

 

Salix canariensis

Native to Madeira and the Canary Islands.

 

Salix caudata

Native to North America.

 

Salix daphnoides (Violet willow)

Native to northern Europe.

 

Salix discolor

Native to eastern USA.

 

Salix lasiandra

Native to western USA.

 

Salix magnifica (Large-leaved willow)

Native to western China.

 

Salix nigra (Black willow)

Native to North America.

 

Salix purpurea (Purple basket willow)

Native from Europe through to Japan.

 

Salix repens

Native to Europe.

 

Salix triandra (Osier)

Native to Europe.

 

Salix viminalis (Common basket willow)

Native to Eurasia.

 

Publications

  • Glen, H.F. 2002. Cultivated plants of southern Africa. Jacana, Johannesburg.

 


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