Purple Willow
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Purple Willow
D Introduced Photo: Shakir Ahmad
Common name: Purple Willow, Purple osier willow, Purple osier
Botanical name: Salix purpurea    Family: Salicaceae (Willow family)
Synonyms: Salix elaeagnifolia, Salix monandra, Salix mutabilis

Purple Willow is a deciduous shrub growing up to 1-3 m, rarely up to 5 m, tall, with purple-brown to yellow-brown shoots, turning pale grey on old stems. The leaves are 2-8 cm long and 0.3-1 cm wide; they are dark green above, glaucous green below, and unusually for a willow, are often arranged in opposite pairs rather than alternate. The flowers are small catkins 1.5-4.5 cm long, produced in early spring; they are often purple or red in color, whence the name of the species (other willows mostly have whitish, yellow or green catkins). Purple Willow is native to Europe to Caucasus, NW Africa, cultivated elsewhere.

Identification credit: Shakir Ahmad Photographed in Kashmir.

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