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WEEPING WILLOW - SALIX BABYLONICA

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Scientific classification

Kingdom: Plantae

(unranked): Angiosperms

(unranked): Eudicots

(unranked): Rosids

Order: Malpighiales

Family: Salicaceae

Genus: Salix

Species: S. babylonica

Binomial name

Salix babylonica

Salix babylonica (Babylon willow or weeping willow; Chinese: 垂柳) is a species of willow native to dry areas of northern China, but cultivated for millennia elsewhere in Asia, being traded along the Silk Road to southwest Asia and Europe.

Description

Salix babylonica is a medium- to large-sized deciduous tree, growing up to 20–25 m (66–82 ft) tall. It grows rapidly, but has a short lifespan, between 40 to 75 years. The shoots are yellowish-brown, with small buds. The leaves are alternate and spirally arranged, narrow, light green, 4–16 cm long and 0.5–2 cm broad, with finely serrate margins and long acuminate tips; they turn a gold-yellow in autumn. The flowers are arranged in catkins produced early in the spring; it is dioecious, with the male and female catkins on separate trees.

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