Weeping Willow : Overview

Weeping Willows

A collage of Weeping Willows

by Anika Gillwald

Picture if you will: a river running through a forest.  Standing on the banks of the river is a tall, Weeping Willow.  The pendulous branches gracefully sweep against the surface of the water with the gentle breeze, disrupting the otherwise calm water. The stereotypical image of the Weeping Willow is usually the first that comes to mind when someone says the word "willow", its distinctive shape an icon for the willow species. 

Originating in China, called Chuíliu, meaning “Hang down willow”, various cultivars of the species has spread throughout the world via trade routes and colonialization.  This fast growing plant is highly used as a decorative plant, often used as a form of bonsai in Japan, though it has recently been considered an invasive species that is harmful to infrastructure.