White Willow

┬ęBrian Eversham

White Willow

┬ęBrian Eversham

White willow

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Scientific name: Salix alba
So-named for the silvery-white appearance of its leaves, the White willow can be seen along riverbanks, around lakes and in wet woodlands. Like other willows, it produces catkins in spring.

Top facts


Height: 20-25m

Conservation status


When to see

January to December


The White willow is a large, fast-growing willow tree found along riverbanks, around lakes and in wet woodland. Its flowers appear in spring and its male catkins are long and yellow; male and female flowers grow on separate trees.
Like many of our native trees, it provides nectar for bees, food for caterpillars and nesting sites for birds.

What to look for

The White willow can appear silvery-white due to the colour of the undersides of its silky, narrow leaves. It has upswept branches and often leans. It can be distinguished from Crack willow by its shorter leaves with hairy undersides.

Where to find


Did you know?

The Cricket-bat willow, from which cricket bats are traditionally made, is a cultivated variety of the White Willow.