Purple willow

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Purple willow
Purple willow (Salix purpurea), habitus in winter

Purple willow ( Salix purpurea ), habitus in winter

Eurosiden I
Order : Malpighiales (Malpighiales)
Family : Willow family (Salicaceae)
Genre : Willows ( Salix )
Type : Purple willow
Scientific name
Salix purpurea

The purple willow ( Salix purpurea ) is a plant from the genus of willow ( Salix ). The common name purple willow and the epithet purpurea can be traced back to the striking red bark of the branches and the initially purple catkins .


Illustration of the purple willow: right: male flower and male inflorescence, in the middle: a branch with leaves and female inflorescence, left: female flower and below left the seed with flying hair.
Fruit cluster
Male catkins: The two stamens of each flower are fused together from the base to the anthers.

Vegetative characteristics

The purple willow is a large, upright, densely bushy shrub that can reach heights of up to 6 meters. The bark of the thin, flexible and tough twigs is bare, brown or purple in color and sometimes short, velvety hairy at the beginning and balding over time ( indument ).

The leaves, which are often arranged opposite to one another on the branches, are divided into a petiole and a leaf blade. The petiole is 2 to 5 millimeters long. The leaf blades are up to 12 inches long on long shoots and have their greatest width with 12 to 20 millimeters in the front third, on short shoots up to 7 inches long and 2 inches wide. The leaf blades are slender, lanceolate and briefly pointed. The leaf margin is finely serrated from the center to the leaf tip, with entire margins on the leaf base. The different designs of the leaf margin gradually merge into one another. The upper side of the leaf is green or slightly bluish and matt, the main nerve is yellow, the underside of the leaf is lighter and gray-green. Both sides are bare. There are no stipules.

Generative characteristics

The flowering period extends from March to April. The kittens are long, slender cylindrical, often opposite and arched. The male kittens are densely flowered. The stamens and the anthers are completely fused together. The anthers are initially purple and yellow when blooming. The female kittens are up to 4 centimeters in length. The ovaries are small, stocky, densely hairy and crowded. The scar rests almost without a stylus. The two-colored bracts are light -colored at the base, black at the front, long hairy and bearded. The nectarium is short club-shaped.

The number of chromosomes is 2n = 38.


The purple willow is common in Eurasia . It occurs in large parts of Europe. It is absent in Northern Scotland and Scandinavia. It can be found from the lowlands to altitudes of 1200 meters on watercourses and in low terraces . It thrives primarily on gravel soils, gravel soils or sandy soils that are wet, at times flooded, rich in nutrients and mostly calcareous, but also on silt. It occurs in societies of the order Salicetalia purpureae, but also in humid societies of the Berberidion association. In the Allgäu Alps, it rises at Alpe Gund near Stuiben up to 1,480 meters above sea level.


The first publication of Salix purpurea was in 1753 by Carl von Linné . A synonym for Salix purpurea L. is Salix caesifolia Drobow .

With Salix purpurea , the following subspecies or varieties are named, depending on the author:

  • Salix purpurea subsp. gracilis (Wimm.) Buser
  • Salix purpurea subsp. lambertiana (Sm.) A. Neumann ex Rech. f. (Syn .: Salix purpurea var. Lambertiana (Sm.) WDJ Koch )
  • Salix purpurea L. subsp. purpurea

There are some hybrids of Salix purpurea with other species:

  • Salix × austriaca Host : Salix appendiculata ( Large-leaved willow ) × Salix purpurea
  • Salix × calliantha core. : Salix daphnoides ( ripe willow ) × Salix purpurea
  • Salix × doniana Sm . : Salix repens ( creeping willow ) × Salix purpurea
  • Salix × kochiana Hartig : Salix aurita ( ear willow ) × Salix purpurea
  • Salix × leiophylla Camus & A. Camus : Salix triandra ( almond willow ) × Salix purpurea
  • Salix × margaretea O. V. Seeman : Salix fragilis ( broken willow ) × Salix purpurea
  • Salix × Pontederiana Willd. : Salix cinerea ( ash willow ) × Salix purpurea
  • Blend willow ( Salix × rubra Huds. ) (Syn .: Salix × helix L. ): Salix viminalis ( basket willow ) × Salix purpurea
  • Salix × wimmeriana Gren. : Salix caprea ( Sal willow ) × Salix purpurea

More pictures


  • Gunter Steinbach (Ed.): Shrub trees (Steinbach's natural guide). Mosaik Verlag GmbH, Munich 1996, ISBN 3-576-10560-3 .

Individual evidence

  1. a b Erich Oberdorfer : Plant-sociological excursion flora for Germany and neighboring areas . 8th edition. Verlag Eugen Ulmer, Stuttgart 2001, ISBN 3-8001-3131-5 . Page 306.
  2. ^ Salix purpurea at Tropicos.org. In: IPCN Chromosome Reports . Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis
  3. Erhard Dörr, Wolfgang Lippert : Flora of the Allgäu and its surroundings. Volume 1, IHW, Eching 2001, ISBN 3-930167-50-6 , p. 419.
  4. Carl von Linné : Species Plantarum . tape 2 , 1753, pp. 1017 ( digitized at the Biodiversity Heritage Library ).
  5. ^ Salix purpurea at Tropicos.org. Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, accessed October 3, 2015.

Web links

Commons : Purple willow ( Salix purpurea )  - album with pictures, videos and audio files