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Willow - Salix

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The Willow, in Latin Salix, from the family Salicaceae, is a deciduous and hardy ornamental tree or shrub native to cold regions of the Northern Hemisphere. With three hundred species ranging from the large park tree like the weeping willow to the prostrate subshrub, with an upright and twisted habit in Salix matsudana 'Tortuosa' or bushy, with silver or variegated foliage like the hakuro nishiki willow, this genus offers diversity that is often underestimated, allowing it to also fit into small gardens. Willows that are familiar to us, such as the white willow Salix alba or the goat willow, have been cultivated for their ornamental qualities, their flexible wood used in basketry, or their effective suckering habit for stabilising river banks. All willows bear male or female catkin flowers on separate individuals, narrow leaves, and they all share a preference for moist to wet soils and sunny exposures. They are loved for their rapid growth, their ornamental qualities that often make them interesting throughout the year, as well as their ease of cultivation. It is little known, but some species and varieties are adapted to mountainous climates or even to the Mediterranean region: take your pick!

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