Goodding’s Willow (Salix gooddingii)

Common Name Latin Name Plant Family
Goodding's Willow
Salix gooddingii

The stems are used in basket making. The N. American Indians used to debark the stems and then weave a basket so tight that it could be used to hold water[229]. 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 small green branches can be split into two, peeled, twisted, dried and used for sewing coiled baskets[257].

The bark has been used as a padding in babies cradles[257].

  • Medicinal Use

    A decoction of the leaves and bark have been used as a febrifuge[257].

    The following uses are for the closely related S. nigra. They probably also apply to this species.

    The bark is anodyne, anti-inflammatory, antiperiodic, antiseptic, astringent, diaphoretic, diuretic, febrifuge, hypnotic, sedative, tonic[4, 7, 9, 21, 165]. It has been used in the treatment of gonorrhoea, ovarian pains and nocturnal emissions[4]. 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[238]. The bark is removed during the summer and dried for later use[238].

    The leaves are used internally in the treatment of minor feverish illnesses and colic[238]. The leaves can be harvested throughout the growing season and are used fresh or dried[238].

    The fresh bark contains salicin, which probably decomposes into salicylic acid (closely related to aspirin) in the human body[213]. This is used as an anodyne and febrifuge[213] and as an ingredient of spring tonics[229].

  • Edible Use

    A honeydew can be obtained from the cut branches[257].

    The young shoots can be made into a tea[257].

    Leaves and the bark of twigs can be steeped to make a tea[257].

    The catkins can be eaten raw[257].

    Bark – raw or cooked[257]. This probably refers to the inner bark[K].

  • 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]. A good bee plant, providing an early source of nectar[11]. Trees are impatient of root disturbance and should be moved regularly before being planted in their permanent positions, which is best done whilst the plants are young[11]. The root system is rather aggressive and can cause problems with drains[200]. It is best not to plant this species within 10 metres of buildings. 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.
South-western N. America – California to Texas, south to Mexico.

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.