©BSNHS 2014

GOAT WILLOW   Salix caprea

A small tree up to 12m in height, often referred to by many regional names  Sallow, Pussy willow,Palm willow to name a few.

An indigenous tree belonging to the the Salicaceae  family which also includes poplars. Found in damp woodlands, hedgerows and wasteland.

Usually recognised by it flowers which appear March/April on trees which are dioecious, with simple alternate leaves which emerge from buds that have been protected over the winter period by a single outer bud scale, also on stems that have no terminal bud.

Pollination is mainly carried out by insects particularly bumble bees, but also true flies and hoverflies play a part.

Many insects, galls and phytophagous invertebrates are associated with Goat willow and a number are classed as pests by the Foresty Commision.

There is a large number of  Lepidoptera species associated with the goat willow in most cases the larvae feed on the foliage, while the Sallow clearwing Synanthedon flaviventris and the Lunar Hornet Sesia bembeciformis  of which the larvae feed on the wood, but it is the larvae of the Purple Emporer Apatura iris that feed solely on the foliage.

GOAT WILLOW   Salix caprea

Goat Willow bark

April Tree of the Month - Goat Willow



Gall Euura amerinae