Tree of the Month

Willow April 15th to May 12th

Botanical Name Salix alba (white willow)

Distribution(UK) ~ Widespread near water in low-lying areas

Tree Form ~ shapely with a stout trunk

Height ~ to 60ft (18m)

Branches ~ dark grey bark with a network of thick ridges, hairy twigs

Leaves ~ alternate, finely toothed with silver hairs

Buds ~ has greyish white hairs pressed close to the twig

Flowers ~ yellow male and green female catkins

Fruits ~ ripened female catkins produce fluffy seeds

Seeds ~ fluffy, distributed by the wind

Uses ~ a variety called ‘Coerulea’ is cultivated in East Anglia to provide wood for making cricket bats.


Greek Mythology ~ HecateHelice, the ‘Willow muse’ Heliconian and Orpheus

Chinese ~ belief that Willow branches hung on front doors and gateways during the festival of Qingming will help to ward off evil spirits. The Goddess Guanyin is often portrayed with a Willow branch in a vase of water at her side – again for putting demons to flight.  Taoist Witches use a small carving made from Willow wood for communicating with the spirits of the dead.

Japanese ~ popular belief that ghosts will appear where Willows grow.

English ~ old belief that Willows were capable of uprooting themselves and stalking travellers – see Wind, Water and Willows

 Ogham Correspondences

Name ~ Saille

Letter ~ S

Class ~ Peasant

Qualities ~ intuition, divination, dreams and emotions

Celtic Calendar ~  15thApril – 12thMay

Element ~ Water

Deity ~ Cerridwen

Celtic Saint ~ Sincheall/Sinell

Animal ~ Cat

Bird ~ Hawk (Seg)

Colour ~ Silver

Crystal ~ Moonstone

Planet ~ Moon

Australian alternative –  Australian Willow – Geijera parviflora

American alternative – American Willow –  Salix discolor Muhl.

Asian alternative – Babylon or Peking Willow –  Salix babylonica

Wishing everyone a very happy and healthy month ahead! 🙂

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