Goat Eared Willow
LATIN NAMESalix caprea
About the Goat Eared Willow
More than a dozen species of Willow are found growing in the wild in Ireland, though not all are native to this country. The plant loves damp conditions and flourishes in bogs, ditches and riverbanks.
Goat Eared Willow is one of the most common varieties recorded on this island and is easy to cultivate. It’s a large shrub or small tree that reaches up to 10 metres in height and has dark green leaves that are both large and broad. The plant’s catkins are soft and silky and grow up to 25 mm long, making an appearance each year in early Spring, before the tree’s leaves begin to bud.
Long used for medicinal purposes – including the production of the anti-inflammatory agent Salicin – its pliable wood has many uses, though not as a source of timber and its quite brittle and will crackle intensely if burned. Found near the Pengiun habitat within Fota Wildlife Park.
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