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weeping willow: characteristics of the plant, origin, cultivation, care and cutting. The legend and meaning of the weeping willow.
Its scientific name isSalix babylonica but this name holds a great misunderstanding because the origins of the weeping willow they are not Babylonians! The weeping willow is originally from China.
Salix babylonica:origin and diffusion
The nameSalix babylonica it was awarded due to erroneous biblical references and translations. In Psalm 137 of the Old Testament plants of weeping willow on the banks of the Euphrates River, in Ancient Mesopotamia (currently Iraq). In fact, the plants described in the Bible were notweeping willowsbut poplars.
Only later was the origin of theweeping willowto areas north of China. Thistreeit has been cultivated for millennia in Asia and has spread to Europe and other areas of the world, following the ancient onesSilk Roads.
Weeping willow, features:growth, leaves and flowers
Theweeping willowit's atreedeciduous of medium to large size. It grows up to a maximum height of 20-25 meters. It has agrowthquick and short-lived: only lives from 40 to 75 years.
It has yellowish-brown shoots with small buds. Theleavesof the willow are alternate and spirally arranged. Theweeping willow leaveshas a light green color, are 4 to 16 cm long and 0.5 to 2 cm wide. Theleavesof the willow have finely serrated margins, are long and sharp.
Weeping willow, cultivation
For its particular pendulous branches, theweeping willowit is widely cultivated as an ornamental tree. The photo below shows theweeping willowsof Central Park (New York) with the typically autumnal darkened foliage.
In the photo above, the hair is a vibrant green. being a deciduous tree, with the winter cold, it tends to lose all its leaves but the plant is equally appreciated for its characteristic pendulous branches.
To cultivate this plant you can aim for the multiplication technique by cuttings. The willow cutting is easy to operate and offers excellent chances of success.
TheWillowit is a rather hardy tree, therefore relatively easy tocultivate. Some of its hybrids do not withstand the cold, others, on the contrary, seem to be less susceptible to low temperatures. Being a very resistant species, it is not prone to diseases and does not require special care. Willow may be sensitive toMarssonina salicicola(a kind of plant cancer, anthracnose)
With other species of the genusWillowit is possible to set up living hedges and huts. For all the info on cultivation, please refer to the pagewillow hedgeand to the page of a particular willow, the one from which the wicker
Weeping willow:the legend and the symbolic meaning
A legend tells that the art of Ju Jutsuwas inspired by the strength and temperament ofweeping willows.
Ju Jutsu is an art of fighting based on defense where, in a fight, victory is acquired by projecting the opponent to the ground or in situations of lack of mobility. What do the weeping willowswith martial arts? Amaster of various martial arts schools, one day, during a snowstorm, he was kidnapped by the elegance and strength of weeping willows.
The master noticed how all the branches were covered with snow and, despite the storm, the tree did not allow itself to be overwhelmed by the weight. Unlike a pine that stands straight or breaks in the face of a storm, willow branches gave way under the weight of the snow, but being extremely flexible they did not break. Based on this observation, the master developed the philosophy that underlies the technique of Ju Jutsu, an art he wanted to be practiced to elevate and advance the country.
TheWillowis a tree fromsymbolismvery controversial, in fact hismeaningit is different according to cultures. If, in Japan, the tree is seen as an emblem of strength and wisdom, for the Jews it is the embodiment of life's adversities and difficulties.
In China theWillowit is the manifesto of female beauty (in spring, when it is in full vegetation) but at the same time it is a symbol of pain and wounds left by love (in winter).