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Eared Willow

Salix aurita

Please keep in mind that it is illegal to uproot a plant without the landowner's consent and care should be taken at all times not to damage wild plants. Wild plants should never be picked for pleasure and some plants are protected by law.
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Plant Profile

Flowering Months:
Salicaceae (Willow)
Deciduous shrub
Life Cycle:
Maximum Size:
2.5 metres tall
Heathland, meadows, moorland, riversides, roadsides, scrub, waterside, woodland.

Green, no petals
Slender catkins which appear before the leaves in spring. Pollinated by bees.
A pale brown, hairy seed capsule. The seeds ripen in May and June.
Rounded and very wrinkled leaves, arranged alternately along the stems. Wavy-edged with inrolled margins. Silvery on the undersides. Large stipules are present at the bases of the leaves. The Grey Willow (Salix cinerea) is similar-looking but the smaller Eared Willow has got reddish leaf stalks, unlike those of Grey Willow.
Other Names:
Eared Sallow.
Frequency (UK):

Similar Species

Other Information


Salix aurita, commonly known as the eared willow, is a species of willow distributed over much of Europe, and occasionally cultivated. It is a shrub that can grow up to 2.5 m in height, and its leaves are long and narrow, with a crinkled texture. The bark is brownish and not glaucous, and the branches are pubescent to glabrescent. The flowers are small and yellow-green, and the fruit is a small capsule containing numerous small seeds. The species is tolerant of a wide range of soils, from acidic to alkaline, and can be found in a variety of habitats, such as forest edges, meadows, and streamsides.


Eared Willow (Salix aurita) is a species of willow tree that is native to Europe and Asia. It is a deciduous tree that grows to be about 10 meters tall and is characterized by its distinctive ear-like lobes that grow from the base of its leaves.

Eared willow is a fast-growing tree that is known for its ability to withstand harsh environmental conditions. It is commonly found growing along streams, rivers, and other bodies of water and is an important part of many riparian ecosystems.

The tree's wood is soft and flexible, making it ideal for use in the manufacture of baskets, furniture, and other wooden products. In addition to its practical uses, eared willow is also valued for its ornamental qualities, including its bright green leaves and catkins that appear in the spring.

One of the most remarkable aspects of eared willow is its ability to tolerate high levels of pollutants. This tree can thrive in contaminated soil and water, making it a useful tool for helping to clean up areas that have been contaminated by pollutants such as heavy metals and organic chemicals.

Eared willow is also an important source of food for a variety of wildlife, including beavers, moose, and various species of birds. Its leaves and twigs are also used as a food source for a number of insects, including caterpillars and moths.

Despite its many benefits, eared willow is not widely cultivated in the United States, and it is considered to be a rare and valuable tree. Efforts are underway to introduce the tree to North America, and it is hoped that it will become a valuable tool for restoring damaged ecosystems and mitigating the effects of environmental pollution.

Eared willow is an important tree species that is valued for its versatility, ornamental qualities, and ability to tolerate harsh conditions. Whether you are a wildlife enthusiast, an environmentalist, or just someone who appreciates the beauty of nature, eared willow is a tree that is well worth learning about.

In addition to its many ecological benefits, eared willow is also known for its medicinal properties. The bark and leaves of the tree contain salicin, a natural aspirin-like compound, which has been used for centuries to treat a variety of ailments, including headaches, pain, and inflammation.

In traditional medicine, eared willow has been used as a tonic to improve circulation, stimulate the immune system, and relieve pain and swelling. Its anti-inflammatory properties have been found to be effective in treating rheumatoid arthritis and other joint problems, and it is also believed to have antispasmodic and diuretic properties.

Despite its many medicinal benefits, it is important to remember that eared willow is not a substitute for professional medical treatment and should not be used as a self-medication. If you are considering using eared willow for medicinal purposes, it is always best to consult with a healthcare professional first.

Eared willow is also a popular ornamental plant, and its ear-like lobes and vibrant green leaves make it a unique and attractive addition to any garden or landscaping project. If you are interested in growing eared willow, it is relatively easy to do so, as the tree is well adapted to a wide range of soils and growing conditions.

Eared willow is an incredibly versatile tree species that offers a wide range of benefits, from its ecological and medicinal properties to its ornamental value. Whether you are interested in restoring damaged ecosystems, improving your health, or simply beautifying your landscape, eared willow is a tree that is definitely worth exploring.

It's also worth noting that eared willow is a valuable resource for wildlife. Its branches, leaves, and bark provide habitats for a variety of insects and animals, including birds, bats, and small mammals. In addition, the tree's seeds and catkins are an important source of food for many species of birds, including goldfinches and siskins.

In terms of its cultivation, eared willow is a relatively hardy tree that can withstand a wide range of growing conditions. It is often found growing near water sources, and it prefers moist soils. However, it is also adaptable to drier conditions, and can thrive in areas with moderate rainfall.

In addition to its hardiness, eared willow is also known for its fast growth, which makes it an ideal choice for land restoration and erosion control projects. When planted along waterways, eared willow helps to prevent soil erosion by stabilizing the banks and providing shade to the water, which helps to keep the water cool and clean.

In conclusion, eared willow is a versatile and valuable species of willow tree that offers a wide range of benefits. Whether you are interested in its ecological, medicinal, or ornamental properties, eared willow is a tree that is well worth exploring. With its fast growth, hardiness, and ability to thrive in a range of conditions, eared willow is a valuable resource for both wildlife and people alike.