Dune Willow (Salix hookeriana)

Common Name Latin Name Plant Family
Dune Willow
Salix hookeriana

Stems are very flexible and are used in basket making[61, 118]. 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 has been used extensively in basket making[257].

Fibres from the inner bark can be twisted into long ropes[226].

The soft roots have been used as a towel to rub down after bathing[257].

An infusion of the roots has been used as a hair wash[257].

Wood – light, soft, close grained[82].

  • Medicinal Use

    The leaves have been used as an antidote to shellfish poisoning[257].

    The fresh bark of all members of this genus contains salicin[226], which probably decomposes into salicylic acid (closely related to aspirin) in the human body[213]. This is used as an anodyne and febrifuge[226].

  • Edible Use

    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[172].

    Young shoots – raw or cooked. They are not very palatable[172]. The leaves have been used as a flavouring in cooked foods[257].

  • Cautionary Notes

    None known

Cultivation & Habitat

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.
Succeeds in most soils, including wet, ill-drained or intermittently flooded soils[1, 11], but prefers a damp, heavy soil in a sunny position[200]. Rarely thrives on chalk[200]. Tolerates maritime exposure[11, 200]. A fast-growing but short-lived species[229]. Hybridizes freely with other members of this genus[200]. Although the flowers are produced in catkins early in the year, they are pollinated by bees and other insects rather than by the wind[11]. Plants in this genus are notably susceptible to honey fungus[200]. Dioecious. Male and female plants must be grown if seed is required.
Western N. America – Alaska to California.

Become ungovernable, break the chains of the matrix; grow and forage your own food and medicine.

*None of the information on this website qualifies as professional medical advice. Take only what resonates with your heart and use your own personal responsibility for what’s best for you. For more information [brackets] [000], see bibliography.