About Willow trees
Willow trees become a sign of spring through the country as the pussy willows signify the unofficial change of seasons. These fluffy little flowers have long been used for decoration and art, but the bark around them offers some great medicinal value.
Willow trees grow in groups, usually beside water sources like rivers creeks and lakes. They are widespread and in spring they are very easy to identity by their unique flowers – resembling the soft fur of a cat/kitten – the pussy willow.
Most of the willow tree is edible, however it is considered only a survival food as it tends to be very bitter, instead it shines as a natural painkiller.
Fresh inner bark from the willow tree contains salicylic acid, sound familiar? It is the precursor to aspirin and as such becomes a mild pain reliever. Dried and drank as a tea or concentrated in a tincture the willow tree bark is a common pain remedy.
The salicylic acid is also a rooting hormone, which can actually be used to help other plants to root without expensive chemicals.
Foraging Plant information list
This is not a complete list, this is a list of the species I have directly witnessed in my travels here in Northwest Ontario. If you find something before I do, email me and let me know.
Spring time pussy willows. Large clusters of trees around water sources.
Where to look
Near creeks, rivers, lakes and streams, usually clustered in large groups.