SCIENTIFIC NAME: Salix
COMMON NAME(S): Willows
FAMILY: SALICACEAE - Willow family
ORIGIN: Northern Hemisphere, about 300 spp.
HABITAT: Woods, often along streams and lakes
HEIGHT: Variable, some are tall trees
LEAVES: Alternate, often lance-shaped, usually toothed along margins
FLOWERS: Inconspicuous, usually separate male and female on different plants, borne in short, pendent clusters (catkins)
FLOWERING SEASON: Spring
FRUITS: Capsules containing seeds with cotton-like hair tufts
ALLERGENIC PRINCIPLES: Pollen allergens
ALLERGENIC PROPERTIES: Respiratory
COMMENTS: Willow pollen has significant reactivity as an allergen, but as predominantly insect-pollinated plants, their pollen is not as well-represented in airborne pollen counts as other trees. Common species in the region include S. nigra Marsh. (black willow), S. caroliniana Michx. (coastal plain willow) and the cultivated weeping willow (S. babylonica L.).