It’s windy, windy, windy – and you can bet the ground will be strewn with willow whips tomorrow. All the better to collect and add to your flower arranging materials, friends.
This weeping willow seen the other day near Branksome Hall illustrates the lovely spring glow the willows get around Toronto at this time of year.
The weeping willow, I’ve just learned, isn’t likely a Salix babylonica, a common misnomer, apparently. According to Wikipedia: The most widely grown Weeping Willow cultivar is Salix × sepulcralis ‘Chrysocoma’, with bright yellowish shoots. That sounds like it might be it here.
The Don Valley and the lakefront from west to east (especially the Beach) are also well stocked with another willow, our native black willow, Salix nigra. Their bright twigs are variable — from yellow-green to orange — but all take on a deeper hue as winter wanes. And, on a cold, wet walk along the Leslie Street Spit at the tail end of March, I could already see another native, the pussy willow, Salix discolor rearing its fuzzy head.
From Salix comes the root of salicylic acid, an early analgesic. I think of the budding willows as an early aspirin for winter’s headache.