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Edible uses


Inner bark - raw or cooked. It can be dried, ground into a powder and then added to cereal flour for use in making bread etc. A very bitter flavour, it is a famine food that is only used when all else fails[1]. Young shoots - raw or cooked. They are not very palatable[1].

Inner bark


Material uses

The stems are very tough and flexible and are used in basket making[2][3][4][5]. The plant is usually coppiced annually when grown for basket making, though it is possible to coppice it every two years if thick poles are required as uprights.

The bark is much disliked by rabbits, so a closely woven fence of this plant can be used as a protective barrier[5]. Plants can be grown as a hedge[6]. Fast growing and very wind-resistant[7].

The plant has an extensive root system and is used in soil reclamation and stabilization projects along estuaries[7].

Unknown part

Medicinal uses(Warning!)

The bark is anodyne, anti-inflammatory, antiperiodic, antiseptic, astringent, diaphoretic, diuretic, febrifuge, hypnotic, sedative and tonic[8][9][10]. It is a very rich source of salicin, which is used in making aspirin[7]. The bark of this species is used interchangeably with S. alba. It is taken internally in the treatment of rheumatism, arthritis, gout, inflammatory stages of auto-immune diseases, diarrhoea, dysentery, feverish illnesses, neuralgia and headache[11]. The bark is removed during the summer and dried for later use[11].

The leaves are used internally in the treatment of minor feverish illnesses and colic[11], cancerous sores and chronic dysentery[12]. The leaves can be harvested throughout the growing season and are used fresh or dried[11]. The twigs are used in the treatment of cancer, dysentery and ulcers[12].

The bark of the stem and roots is anodyne and styptic[12]. It is used in the treatment of rheumatism[12].


Ecosystem niche/layer

Ecological Functions



Soil builder

Earth stabiliser


Nothing listed.


Nothing listed.


Seed - must be surface sown as soon as it is ripe in late spring. It has a very short viability, perhaps as little as a few days.

Cuttings of mature wood of the current year's growth, November to February in a sheltered outdoor bed or planted straight into their permanent position and given a good weed-suppressing mulch. Very easy. Plant into their permanent positions in the autumn.

Cuttings of half-ripe wood, June to August in a frame. Very easy.

Practical Plants is currently lacking information on propagation instructions of Salix purpurea lambertiana. Help us fill in the blanks! Edit this page to add your knowledge.


Succeeds in most soils, including wet, ill-drained or intermittently flooded soils[13][2], but prefers a damp, heavy soil in a sunny position[14]. Plants prefer an alkaline or neutral soil, rarely doing well in acid conditions[15]. Said to prefer a sandy soil[4][7], plants are tolerant of dryish soils[2]. Plants are tolerant of salt water[7].

A very ornamental plant[13], it is cultivated for its branches which are used in basket making[2], there are some named varieties[16]. Plants are coppiced annually for this purpose[15] A very important food plant for the caterpillars of many butterfly species[17] and a good bee plant, providing an early source of nectar and pollen[2]. Plants in this genus are notably susceptible to honey fungus[14]. Plants should be put into their permanent positions as soon as possible[2].

Dioecious. Male and female plants must be grown if seed is required.


Problems, pests & diseases

Associations & Interactions

There are no interactions listed for Salix purpurea lambertiana. Do you know of an interaction that should be listed here? edit this page to add it.

Polycultures & Guilds

There are no polycultures listed which include Salix purpurea lambertiana.




None listed.


None listed.

Full Data

This table shows all the data stored for this plant.

Binomial name
Salix purpurea lambertiana
Imported References
Edible uses
Medicinal uses
Material uses & Functions
Edible uses
None listed.
Material uses
None listed.
Medicinal uses
None listed.
Functions & Nature
Provides forage for
Provides shelter for
Hardiness Zone
Heat Zone
full sun
no shade
Soil PH
Soil Texture
Soil Water Retention
Environmental Tolerances
  • Salinity
  • Strong wind
Native Climate Zones
None listed.
Adapted Climate Zones
None listed.
Native Geographical Range
None listed.
Native Environment
None listed.
Ecosystem Niche
None listed.
Root Zone Tendancy
None listed.
Deciduous or Evergreen
Herbaceous or Woody
Life Cycle
Growth Rate
Mature Size
5 x 5 meters
Flower Colour
Flower Type


  1. ? Schofield. J. J. Discovering Wild Plants - Alaska, W. Canada and the Northwest. ()
  2. ? Bean. W. Trees and Shrubs Hardy in Great Britain. Vol 1 - 4 and Supplement. Murray (1981-00-00)
  3. ? 3.03.1 Triska. Dr. Hamlyn Encyclopaedia of Plants. Hamlyn ISBN 0-600-33545-3 (1975-00-00)
  4. ? Wright. D. Complete Book of Baskets and Basketry. David and Charles ISBN 0-7153-7449-4 (1977-00-00)
  5. ? Johnson. C. P. The Useful Plants of Great Britain. ()
  6. ? 6.06.1 Shepherd. F.W. Hedges and Screens. Royal Horticultural Society. ISBN 0900629649 (1974-00-00)
  7. ? Newsholme. C. Willows - The Genus Salix. Batsford ISBN 0713468815 (1992-00-00)
  8. ? 8.08.1 Grieve. A Modern Herbal. Penguin ISBN 0-14-046-440-9 (1984-00-00)
  9. ? 9.09.1 Launert. E. Edible and Medicinal Plants. Hamlyn ISBN 0-600-37216-2 (1981-00-00)
  10. ? 10.010.1 Lust. J. The Herb Book. Bantam books ISBN 0-553-23827-2 (1983-00-00)
  11. ? Bown. D. Encyclopaedia of Herbs and their Uses. Dorling Kindersley, London. ISBN 0-7513-020-31 (1995-00-00)
  12. ? Duke. J. A. and Ayensu. E. S. Medicinal Plants of China Reference Publications, Inc. ISBN 0-917256-20-4 (1985-00-00)
  13. ? 13.013.1 F. Chittendon. RHS Dictionary of Plants plus Supplement. 1956 Oxford University Press (1951-00-00)
  14. ? Huxley. A. The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992. MacMillan Press ISBN 0-333-47494-5 (1992-00-00)
  15. ? 15.015.1 Beckett. G. and K. Planting Native Trees and Shrubs. Jarrold (1979-00-00)
  16. ? Warren-Wren. S. C. Willows. David and Charles (1972-00-00)
  17. ? Carter D. Butterflies and Moths in Britain and Europe. Pan ISBN 0-330-26642-x (1982-00-00)
  18. ? Clapham, Tootin and Warburg. Flora of the British Isles. Cambridge University Press (1962-00-00)