Facts about Almond willow

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Almond willow Quick Facts
Name: Almond willow
Scientific Name: Salix triandra
Origin Europe and Western and Central Asia
Health benefits It is used as an anodyne and febrifuge.
Salix triandra, with the common names almond willow or almond-leaved willow is a species of willow belonging to Salicaceae Mirb. (Willow family). The plant is native to Europe and Western and Central Asia. It is found from south-eastern England east to Lake Baikal, and south to Spain and the Mediterranean east to the Caucasus, and the Alborz Mountains. It usually grows in riparian habitats, on river and stream banks, and in wetlands. Some of the popular common names of the plants are Almond willow, Almond-leaf willow, Almond-leaved willow, Black maul and French willow. The scientific name is derived from the male flowers having three stamens. The English common name refers to the similarity in leaf shape to almond leaves.

Almond willow Facts

Name Almond willow
Scientific Name Salix triandra
Native Europe and Western and Central Asia. It is found from south-eastern England east to Lake Baikal, and south to Spain and the Mediterranean east to the Caucasus, and the Alborz Mountains
Common Names Almond willow, Almond-leaf willow, Almond-leaved willow, Black maul, French willow
Name in Other Languages Albanian: Shelg               
Aragonese: Sarga, sarga negra, sarguera
Armenian: Urreni yerrarrej (Ուռենի եռառէջ)
Asturian: Salguera mariella
Azerbaijani: Ağçubuq söyüd
Belarusian: Viarba trochtyčynkavaja (Вярба трохтычынкавая)
Bulgarian: Tritichinkova vŭrba (тритичинкова върба)
Catalan: Salze triandre, salsa
Chinese: Sān ruǐ liǔ (三蕊柳), Máo liǔ (毛柳)
Croatian: Vrba žuta, Bademasta vrba     
Czech: Vrba trojmužná 
Danish: Mandel-pil, Skør-Pil x Mandel-P
Dutch:  Amandelwilg
English: Almond willow, Almond-leaf willow, Almond-leaved willow, Black maul, French willow
Estonian:  Loogapaju, Vesipaju
Finnish:  Jokipaju
French:  Osier brun, Osier franc, Osier rouge, Saule discolore, Saule à trois étamines, Saule-amandier, saule à feuilles d’amandier        
Galician: Salgueiro de follas de amendoeiro, salgueiro de follas de amondoeira
German:  Kottenheider Weide, Mandelweide, Mandel-Weide, Prossweide, dreimännige Weide, dreistaubblättrige Weide, Pfirsichweide
Greek:  Amygdaloïtiá (Αμυγδαλοϊτιά), itiá (ιτιά)
Hebrew: Arvat sheloshet-ha’avkanim (עַרְבַת שְׁלוֹשֶׁת-הָאַבְקָנִים)    
Hungarian: Mandulalevelű fűz  
Irish: Saileach na dtrí bhall
Italian:  Salice da ceste, Salico da farceste, salice triandro
Japanese:  Seiyou tachi yanagi (セ イヨウタチヤナギ ), tachi-yanagi (タチヤナギ)  
Latvian: Vicu vītols
Lithuanian:  Krantinis gluosnis
Northern Sami: Johkasieđga
Norwegian: Mandelpil, Fager-via
Persian: بید بادامی
Polish:  Wierzba migdałowa , Wierzba trójpręcikowa
Portuguese: Salgueiro-com-folhas-de-amendoeira, salgueiro-folhas-de-amendoeira, vimeiro-folhas-de-amendoeira, salgueiro de folha larga azulada
Russian: Beloloz (Белолоз), Belotal (Белотал), Loza (Лоза), iva mindalelistnaya (ива миндалелистная), iva mindal’naya (ива миндальная), iva trokhtychinkovaya (ива трёхтычинковая)
Serbian: Bademasta vrba (бадемаста врба)
Slovak: Vŕba trojtyčinková          
Slovene: Mandljasta vrba
Spanish:  Salice di mandorla / Salgueiro de amêndoa, Sarga, Sauce almendro, mimbrera oscura, sarga negra, sargatilla borde, sargatilla branca, sargatilla negra, sauce negro
Swedish:  Mandelpil, Jokipaju
Turkish: Badem yapraklı söğüt, bağ söğüdü
Udmurt: Kuin’ tychinkayem bad’ (Куинь тычинкаем бадь)
Ukrainian: Verba trytychynkova (верба тритичинкова)
Upper Sorbian: Mandlowa wjerba
Valencian: Vimenera
Welsh: Helygen beraroglaidd, Helyg Tribrigerog, Helygen Deir-Gwryw Hirddail, Helygen Dri-Gwryw Hirddail, Helygen Dribrigerog, Helygen Drigwryw
Plant Growth Habit Upright, multi-stemmed, deciduous shrub or small tree
Growing Climates Usually grows in riparian habitats, on sides of river, ponds, marshes, stream banks, in wetlands, waste places and along shorelines of lakes or large rivers
Plant Size 10 m (33 ft) tall
Bark Young bark is smooth grey-brown, becoming scaly on older stems with large scales exfoliating (like a plane tree) to leave orange-brown patches.
Leaf Leaves are broad, lanceolate, 4–11 cm long and 1–3 cm wide, with a serrated margin
Flowering season March to May
Flower Male and female flowers are in catkins and are found on  separate trees. Male catkins are up to 5cm and each flower has 3 stamens. Female catkins are shorter.
Fruit Shape & Size Capsule
Propagation By Seed, Semi-ripe cuttings and by layering
Season June

Plant Description

Almond willow is an upright, multi-stemmed, deciduous shrub or small tree that normally grows about 10 m (33 ft) tall. The plant is usually multi-stemmed, with an irregular, often leaning crown. The bark is smooth grey-brown at first, becoming scaly on older stems with large scales exfoliating (like a plane tree) to leave orange-brown patches. The twigs are olive-brown or brown, shiny and hairless. The ridges flake off leaving a smooth grey bark. The plant usually grows in riparian habitats, on sides of river, ponds, and marshes, stream banks, in wetlands, waste places and along shorelines of lakes or large rivers.

The plant does best in deep, moist soil in sun. It does not tolerate shade or shallow chalk. It also tolerates pollution and strong winds except strong coastal winds. The plant develops an aggressive root system so site at least 10 m away from buildings. This tree is often cut low as the young branches are used in basket work; they are sharp and pointed a red-brown or olive color. They are usually planted along waterways and around ponds and lakes, either alone or in groups.


The leaves are elongated, broad lanceolate, 4-11 cm long and 1-3 cm wide, with a strongly serrated margins. The finely toothed leaves are weakly shiny and dark green on the upper side, while the underside is dull and greenish grey.  Young leaves may be weakly pubescent, older ones are glabrous. On the underside, leaf veins are slightly elevated from the surface. Large rounded stipules with strongly serrated margins are present around the petiole bases, and persist on the shoots after the growing season. Petiole is normally 1-2 cm long with two conspicuous basal stipules.

Flowers & Fruits

The flowers are produced in catkins in early spring at the same time as the new leaves, and pollinated by insects. They are dioecious, with male and female catkins on separate trees; the male catkins are narrowly cylindrical, 2.5 to 5 cm long and 0.3 to 1.2 cm wide, dense flowered, showy and fragrant, uniformly pale yellow while the female catkins are usually rather shorter about 2–4 cm long and denser than the male. The male flowers have three stamens, a useful identification feature with most other willows having two or five stamens. Flowering normally takes place in between March to May.

Fertile flowers are followed by capsules from the elongated mature catkins that are relatively short, green, and glabrous.

Traditional uses and benefits of Almond willow

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

Culinary uses

  • Inner bark can be consumed raw or cooked.
  • It can be dried, ground into a powder and then added to cereal flour for use in making bread etc.
  • It has a very bitter flavor, it is a famine food that is only used when all else fails.
  • Young shoots can be cooked, but not very palatable.

Other Facts

  • The stems are very flexible and are used in basket making.
  • They are highly valued.
  • 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.
  • A yellow dye is obtained from the bark and young leaves.
  • It succeeds in wet, ill-drained or intermittently flooded soils.
  • The plant is a potential biomass source for biofuel energy generation.
  • In the Russian honey industry, the plant is used as a nectar source for honeybees.














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