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Osier - Salix viminalis
Family - Salicaceae
Also known as - Basket Willow, Hemp Willow, Augers

A widespread and fast growing willow species in the UK, probably native to Europe, Western Asia, and the Himalayas but extensively cultivated elsewhere.  Growing in wet areas, stream sides, damp woodlands, coppicing, energy forestry and de-contamination sites as a multi-stemmed shrub, especially if coppiced, to 3-7M (10-23ft) tall, erect stems with green-grey bark.  Simple alternate Lanceolate often inrolled leaves 10-25cm (4-10in) long 0.5-2cm (0.2-0.8in) wide, a dark glossy green above and a felt like silky grey underneath. Dioecious flowers as catkins are produced in early spring before the leaves, male ♂ catkins are yellow and oval-shaped, green female ♀ catkins are longer and more cylindrical maturing to fruit capsules releasing tiny seeds.

 Widely grown for its flexible young growth called withies used extensively in willow weaving, giving rise to its common name - Basket Willow.  In recent time it is now used in waste water treatment for the removal of various metals and solvents.  It will hybridise easily with other Willow species with many cultivated varieties being grown for the basket-making industry.  With its fast growth rate of 1M or more per year, it is now commonly grown for bio-fuel.

Osier - Salix viminalis, click for a larger image, licensed for reuse NCSA3.0
Photo ©2015 Phil Pullen
Osier - Salix viminalis, click for a larger image, licensed for reuse NCSA3.0
Photo ©2015 Phil Pullen
Osier - Salix viminalis, click for a larger image, photo licensed for reuse
Photo ©2005 Sten Pporse
Osier - Salix viminalis, click for a larger image, photo licensed for reuse
Photo ©1901 C. A. M. Lindman
Click any photo for a larger image

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