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There are various species and subspecies of willow. Willows are very cross-fertile, and numerous hybrids occur, both naturally and in cultivation. Willow wood is soft, usually pliant, tough; the trees have slender branches, and large, fibrous, often stoloniferous roots. The roots are remarkable for their toughness, size, and tenacity to life, and roots readily grow from aerial parts of the plant.
The leaves are typically elongated, but may also be round to oval, frequently with serrated margins. Most species are deciduous.
Almost all willows take root very readily from cuttings or where broken branches lie on the ground. Willow roots grow widespread and are very aggressive in seeking out moisture -- they can damage structures.
Very Common. Though non-native, it has been naturalized in many regions of the world.
- Basic crafts, such as baskets, fish traps, wattle fences and wattle and daub house walls, were often woven from osiers (rod-like willow shoots, often grown in coppices).
- Tannin, fibre, paper, rope and string can be produced from the wood. Thin or split willow rods can be woven into wicker, which also has a long history. The relatively pliable willow is less likely to split while being woven than many other woods, and can be bent around sharp corners in basketry.
- Charcoal production
Willows all have abundant watery bark sap, which is heavily charged with salicylic acid (a component of aspirin). Willow bark has been used as a remedy for aches and fever.
- Hey, did your character do something cool with this plant?
- Or maybe your pack has it for trade?