Bebb Willow


(Salix bebbiana)

bebb willow
© Jukka Jantunen, some rights reserved (CC-BY-NC)
winter bebb willow
© Jon Reberlio, all rights reserved

Bebb willow (or bebb's willow) is a pioneer species of shrub forming dense thickets along rivers, streams, swamps, and meadows. Native to North America, it spans coast to coast in parts of Canada and the United States.

Leaves are elliptic in shape and pointed at both ends; wrinkled and sparsely hairy on top while hairy with prominent veins underneath. Young twigs and leaves are hairy. Bark colour is reddish to grayish brown when young; diamond shaped depressions appear (caused by a fungus).

Bebb willows are supporters of bees and rely on them for pollination. They are valuable browse for elk, big game, small mammals, beaver, birds, and livestock.

Medicinally, the shrub is used to heal wounds, sanitize bandages, and increase blood flow. Coppicing can be be done to accumulate branches. Harvests can then be used for rope, bags, dresses, and baskets. Bebb willow wood is suitable for furniture and ornamental products.


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