Salix x sepulcralis var. chrysocoma
Weeping willows have cascades of slender branches. Willows grow quickly and easily, and in China symbolise spring, renewal and immortality. In poetry and painting they are often associated with sorrow and separation.
Willow bark and leaves have been used to treat pain and fever for hundreds of years. In 1827 scientists discovered that the willow is in fact a source of salicin – a kind of natural aspirin.
Willow wood is elastic, tough and light, easy
to carve and often used for tool handles, poles and building. The
young branches, also strong and flexible, can be woven into baskets
and other objects, even shoes and hats. Because it burns evenly,
willow wood produces excellent charcoal used to make
Left: Willow pattern china, based on a Chinese design, was first produced in England in the 1700s.
Right: In classical Chinese gardens willows are usually planted near water. This Chinese garden is in Portland, Oregon, USA.