Weeping Willow

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The Weeping Willow

(Salix Babylonica)

Interesting Information About Plant:


     The Weeping Willow tree is a native of the extra-tropical Asia and belongs to the group the Crack Willows. This oriental tree’s bark owns mainly all of the medicinal and tanning properties of the willow group. It has been long known in China and Turkey that the Weeping Willow is known its tearful symbolism, used in some places as a cemetery ornament signifying an association of grief for the loved one in the grave. In the ancient times the torches used in funerals were made precisely by Willow wood. It could have been a tree of ill omen as well as in ancient Babylon it is said the soothsayers predicted the death of Alexander the Great deriving from the fact that it was the Willow that swept the crown from his head as he was crossing the Euphrates river in a boat. 

Scientific Name: Salix Babylonica

Family Name (Scientific and Common): Salicaceae

Continent of Origin: China

Plant Growth Habit: Tree

Height at Maturity: More than 10 Feet

Life Span: Perennial

Seasonal Habit: Deciduous Perennial

Growth Habitat: Full Sun

Manner of Culture: Native Species 

Thorns on Younger Stem: No

Cross Section of Younger Stem: Roundish

Stem (or Trunk) Diameter: More Than The Diameter of a Coffee-Mug 

Produces Brownish Bark: Yes

Bark Peeling in Many Areas: Yes 

Characteristics of Mature (Brownish) Bark: Bumpy

Type of Leaf: Flat, Thin Leaf

Length of Leaf (or Leaflet): Between the Length of a Credit Card and a Writing-Pen  

Leaf Complexity: Simple 

Edge of Leaf: Smooth 

Leaf Arrangement: Alternate

Leaf has Petiole: Yes 

Patterns of Main-Veins on Leaf (or Leaflet): Pinnate   

Leaf Hairiness: No Hairs

Color of Foliage in Summer: Green  

Change in Color of Foliage in October: Changes to Yellow 

FLowering Season: Spring 

Flowers: Single 

Type of Flower: Like a Grass Flower 

Color of Flower: Yellow   

Shape of Individual Flower: Radially symmetrical

Size of Individual Flower: Smaller than a Quarter  

Sexuality: Male and Female on Same Plant

Size of Fruit: Between a Quarter and the Length of a Credit Card

Fruit Fleshiness: Fleshy 

Shape of Fruit: Long Pod  

Color of Fruit at Maturity: Brown or Dry

Fruit Desirable to Birds or Squirrels: Yes   

Common Name(s): Weeping Willow   

Louisville Plants That Are Most Easily Confused With This One: The Weeping Cherry, others in the Weeping family

Unique Morphological Features of Plant: Sad droopy look of the braches hanging down, “Crying” of the tree when it rains (rain drops travel from the branches to the ends of the leaves and fall to the ground)

Poisonous: None of Plant

Pestiness (weedy, hard to control): Yes  


Page prepared by: 


Russell Miller                                                        

 November 2004





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