Missouri Willow (Salix eriocephala)

S. cordata. Muhl. non Hook. S. rigida. Muhl.
Common Name Latin Name Plant Family
Missouri Willow
Salix eriocephala

The stems are tough and very flexible, they are used in basket making[199, 257]. 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 cultivar ‘Green USA’ is ideal as a windbreak, it tolerates very poor light soils[199].

The plants extensive root system make it effective at binding the soil along the sides of streams[229].

Wood – more durable that that of most willows, it is used for fence posts[82, 229].

  • Medicinal Use

    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

    None known

  • 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 fast-growing and relatively long 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]. Closely related to S. mackenzieana and S. lutea[11]. There are some named varieties[199]. Plants in this genus are notably susceptible to honey fungus[200]. Dioecious. Male and female plants must be grown if seed is required.
Eastern and Central N. America – Newfoundland to Nebraska, south to Mississippi.

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.