Sunday 14 April 2024

Settle Wildflowers 126: Four Willows: Purple Willow, Goa Willow, Crack Willow and A.N. Other


These four different species of willow were photographed in Settle/Giggleswick on Friday late afternoon-evening 12 April 2024

1.  Purple willow Salix purpurea

From Settle walk over the bridge towards the College, turn left and walk along the path between the river and the college.  Look at the willow shrubs between the path and the river. The first one is a male Purple Willow.  


These male catkins with their red anthers are quite spectacular.Purple Willow Salix purpurea likes to grow on shingle islands and beside rivers.

It is easy to recognise Purple Willow even when not in flower  because it is the only willow with leaves that grow opposite each other.  Here you see the female catkins growing opposite each other.

It grows beside the path between the river and Settle College.

Female Purple Willow

Can you see the male catkins? the anthers are red when they are young.

Quite spectacular.

A few meters further on there is some male Goat Willow by the river. Some of the male catkins are looking a bit bedraggled. They have relatively wide and short leaves, that are woolly underneath.

The next three willows all grow in the treed play area between Bond Lane and Settle Primary School

2. Goat Willow Salix caprea

There is a male Goat Willow  (Salix caprea) at the entrance to Settle Primary School. Goat Willow  is the willow species most likely to be found growing in a dry habitat. 

There is a male goat willow at the entrance to Settle Primary School. See its ridged bark.

This is a planted willow shrub in bond Lane Play area. I wonder if it is going to be Weeping Willow. or similar.

This is a planted willow shrub in bond Lane Play area.

This is a planted willow shrub in Bond Lane Play area. THese are female flowers. It has very long narrow leaves.

The big willow tree at the entrance nearest town (I think) is a Crack Willow. It has male catkins. I shall check when the leaves have grown a bit longer.

They have recently cut the ivy from the bottom of the tree,
and removed the ivy from the wall just behind it.
Maybe that is a very good thing. The ivy is spreading in booths Car Park and along the Railway.

I wonder if... .. in a few days I can go up to Malham Tarn Fen seven miles away, where I would be able to see an additional 6 species of willow (never mind hybrids)  - Maybe not - that is beyond my 2020 Lockdown area of search.. 

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