Prepared By Alexander Kotelnikov
In Russia there are more than 100 kinds of willows, but they are not all suitable for weaving. Here are some wild breeds that are recommended for the manufacture of decorative products. They are also the most promising for cultivation in Central Russia.
· Goat willow – shrub or tree with a height of 6-10 meters. It occurs throughout Russia. Grows on moist and fresh, not waterlogged soils, on forest edges, along roads and ditches. The bark is smooth, greenish – gray. The leaves are oval, scalloped, dark-green, bottom – gray. Characterized by rapid growth. After cropping gives a lot of strong shoots, suitable for plain weaving, is a good material for frames of furniture.
· IVA prutovidnyi – grows as a shrub up to 5 – 6 metres, rarely as a tree up to 10 meters with a broad crown. Young shoots are short, slightly pubescent, adult – smooth. Stipules – small, quickly deciduous. Leaves linear-lanceolate, 10-20 cm long, 1-2 cm, base cuneate, apex acute, with curved edge, top – dark green, smooth or slightly pubescent, lower densely covered with silky hairs. It occurs throughout Russia. Grows on sandy banks, in old flood plains along the banks of oxbow lakes. In marshy shores almost never occurs, but it can grow on periodically zavolakivaya sites. Prutovidnyi IVA is the most common among fans of material for weaving baskets. The rod she is flexible, easily pricked, is growing rapidly.
· Willow purple grows as a small branchy bushes with a height of 1-3 meters. It grows in Central and South our country. Prefers river valleys, coastal Sands, ditches and meadows. Found in both wet and dry soils. The bark is shiny red color with a brown tint. Branches are purple or yellow, glabrous, shiny. Leaves lanceolate, dark green above, from below glaucous-green.
· Trentacinque willow is a shrub 6-7 m or tree height of 7-10 meters. Older stems and shoots, the bark is separated by thin plates as patches. Shoots yellowish-green, thin, flexible. Leaves lanceolate or elliptic, serrate, dark green above Matt, the bottom green or glaucous, length 4 -15 cm stipules ovate. Distributed throughout the European part of Russia.
· American willow is the most widely cultivated willow forest area of our country. It is a natural hybrid willow purple and trentacinque with the best value. IVA American has two subspecies – Polish willow and giant. The leaves are narrow, with widths up to 2 cm, long 15 cm, smooth. The color of the bark in the middle of autumn purplish red, of various degrees of saturation, down the vines green.
Description of species IV is long, but for weaving it is not necessary to use many willow species. It is sufficient to focus on two or three species with fundamentally different characteristics and properties of the vine. And depending on this to use at work, never mixing twigs of willows of different species.