weeping willow

Above: a weeping willow at the.

Trees of London
St Andrew's,
Holborn Viaduct

Weeping Willow

crack willowe      white willow

              The weeping willow at St Andrew's, Holborn is Salix Pendulina vitellina. The one at Barbican is Salix x chrysocoma.

              The true weeping willow that one sees in paintings on Chinese plates and vases is very rare in Europe. It is Salix babylonica.

              Because it tends to grow in spectacular locations, often beside water and sometimes on riverbanks, the weeping willow tends to get noticed, and has often been painted. For this reason, it is the one tree that most people could put a name to straight away. Like most willows it prefers to grow in dampy ground, beside water, and because of this, there are not many of them in central London other than in the grand parks.

              There are similarities between the willow and the poplar. This is mostly in their bark which tend to be rough with strong contours. The leaves however are quite different; the leaves of the willow are long and thin and pointed. This tends to be the give away because there are few trees around with such leaves.

              Willow wood is used for making cricket bats, hence the phrase 'that wonderful sound of leather on willow' to describe the noise made when a cricket ball is hit by a batsmen.

Weeping willow beside St Andrew's church..

weeping willow

crack willow      white willow

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Tree Identification

Salix pendulina vitellina:

alternate; long, thin, pointed; pale green; flimsy, hang down.

weeping willow leaf

inconspicuous capsule seeds.


weepingb willow bark bark:
rough, brown, with pronounced vertical ridges.
grows to 20 metres; branches bend down and the leaves trail down, sometimes touching the ground.
general: is usually planted near water; and is a very popular subject for water colour paintings.

No Map

To the right of the entrance to St Andrew's,
Holborn churchyard.

Trees of London        A James Wilkinson Publication ©