Aug. 8, 2018

Text

Here we have a pistillate ament of Bebb's willow.  Bebb's and all of its willow relatives were important in Indian culture.  The branches were good to weave, and the wood for small woodwork.  One item mentioned stoppers for containers.  The bark could serve as cordage.  The inner bark in particular was used medicinally, mostly as an analgesic.  It contains aspirin.

Willows were common in the fen at Ives Preserve when it first came to the Conservancy's attention in 1979.  Since then it has been necessary to remove and control invasive shrubs.  The process of removal and periodic controlled burns has pretty much eliminated the willows.  They persist around the edges and in nearby thickets.