Weeping Willow

Salix babylonica

Salix babylonica is commonly called Weeping Willow. but also known as the Babylon willow. Originally a native of dry areas of northern China it has been cultivated for millennia across Asia and into Europe along the Silk Road. It can reach 25 meters and grows rapidly but is relatively short-lived, usually living for between 50 and 75 years. Its flowers are catkins with the male and females ones on different trees typically pollinated by wind-blown pollen. It is mostly grown as an ornamental.

Funky Fact File: In China it has been used in shelter belts around oases in the Gobi Desert and to protect crops from wind.

An appropriate location in Marshide just outside Thanet © Bo Beolens