Willows – beautiful, decorative and dangerous There are more than 300 varieties of willow, a plant that has been used for centuries to make many useful objects including baskets, fishing rods and cricket bats. These 3 varieties are commonly found in this area.
Tortured willow, Salix babylonica var. pekinensis 'Tortuosa': this type has a cork screw 'tortured' habit, valued by florist and gardeners for its decorative form.
Pussy willow, Salix caprea: has oval leaves with a silver underside and distinctive catkins. The female plant has small silvery catkins known as pussy willow. It has a strong suckering habit, which can cause problems in small gardens.
Crack willow, Salix fragilis: a highly invasive type that naturalises readily from broken twigs that float down waterways. This type of willow is now regarded as a weed and is being progressively removed from local creeks and wetlands.