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Additional recommended knowledge
It is a deciduous shrub growing to 1-3 m (rarely to 5 m) tall, with purple-brown to yellow-brown shoots, turning pale grey on old stems. The leaves are 2-8 cm (rarely to 12 cm) long and 0.3-1 cm (rarely 2 cm) wide; they are dark green above, glaucous green below, and unusually for a willow, are often arranged in opposite pairs rather than alternate. The flowers are small catkins 1.5-4.5 cm long, produced in early spring; they are often purple or red in colour, whence the name of the species (other willows mostly have whitish, yellow or green catkins).
It is replaced further east in Asia by the closely related species Salix sinopurpurea (syn. S. purpurea var. longipetiolatea).
As with several other willows, the shoots, called withies, are often used in basketry.
|This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Salix_purpurea". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.|