Willow (Salix spp.)

General Information

Family: Willow family (Salicaceae)
Flowering period in Central Europe: Pre-spring to early summer.
Months: 2–6

Allergy potential
Low allergenicity.

Possible cross-reactions with poplar pollen due to close familial relatedness.

Botanical Information

Worldwide distribution from the tropics to arctic climates. Habitats — Mainly along rivers in floodplain and marsh forests, along standing waters, also in arctic and montane areas, pioneer plant.

Habit — Tree, bush, or shrub. Foliage — Summer-green, leaves round to lanceolate, underside of leaves hairy. Reproduction — Dioecious, ♂ catkins fluffy, either ovoid or cylindrical.

Common species in Europe

White willow (Salix alba).
Habit — Tree. Foliage — Summer-green, leaves with white-silvery hairs on the underside (giving the name). Habitats — Floodplains and marsh forests, pioneer species. From plains to mountainous areas. Flowering period in Central Europe — End of March to early May.

Goat willow (Salix caprea).
Habit — Tree or shrub. Reproduction — ♂ catkins ovoid, fluffy, Flowering period before leaf emergence. Habitats — Clearings, fallow land, railway embankments, pioneer species. From plains to moderate mountainous areas. Flowering period in Central Europe — March to April.
Note: Important early food source for bees!