Common Name(s): Arroyo Willow
Scientific Name: Salix lasiolepis
Plant Type: Branching shrub or small tree
Size: Up to 30′
Appearance: This small riparian woodland regular which thrives along the edges of streams where it enjoys the moist soil it requires has smooth bark and yellowish to dark brown twigs. It has alternate, hairy, entire leaves that are lanceolate-elliptic to oblanceolate in shape. This plant flowers between February and April. It has no petals or sepals, and is borne in a compact inflorescence called a catkin.
Since Arroyo Willows have a talent for propagating from vegetative tissue and growing from cuttings, their hormones are often extracted and used in nurseries to help other plant cuttings take root. Willows are also an excellent resource for erosion control on river banks.
Another useful chemical first derived from the willow is Aspirin. Native Americans had many uses for this flexible plant, an infusion of either its bark or its flowers was used to cure a variety of ailments from fevers to itchiness to diarrhea. The inner bark was made into rope, the shoots used for baskets, and stakes provided structure for thatched houses.