Black Willow

black willow

Salix nigra

Plant Characteristics:

  • Duration: perennial 
  • Habit: tree
  • Breeding system: Flowers Unisexual; Deciduous   
  • Size class: 36-72ft
  • Native Habitat: s​​tream banks, ditches, tanks, low ground, and other areas of wet soil throughout Texas.
  • Bloom time: April-May

Growing Conditions 

  • Light:
    • Sun, partial shade, shade
  • Soil:
    • Moisture: Moist, wet
    • CaCO3 Tol: Low
    • Description: Clay, Loam, Sand
  • Water use:
    • High
  • Condition comments:
    • Short-lived and fast-growing. Susceptible to insect and wind damage.


  • Ornamental: Fall conspicuous, fast growing, shade tree
  • Wildlife use: The bark, tender twigs and buds are food for browsers such as deer, rabbits and beaver
  • Medicinal: The bark of the roots is intensely bitter and used to be an ingredient of spring tonics to purge the blood
  • Good for woodworking
  • Fragrant
  • Interesting foliage 
  • Pollinator attractant
  • Larval host
  • Specific value to native bee, honey bees and bumblebees


  • Susceptible to deep browse