Arroyo Willow

Salix lasiolepsis

Habitat: Riparian Woodland

 Value to the Environment: This plant is very important to the environment because many animals depend on it to survive. The wasps depend on it to reproduce by laying their eggs in the leaves. The Willow Fly Catcher depends on the willow to make nests and catch insects, When the none native plants were transported to this area they started to take over. The willows ran out of room to grow, and they began to disappear. When the dam was built it cut off the water that used to be available for the willows. This is a big reason that there are so few willows in the Otay River. Since the disappearance of the willows the Willow Fly Catcher started to disappear too. We must save these plants in order to prevent the extinction of the animals that depend on it.

 Value to Man: Native American women used the inner bark on the willow to make skirts. They used its flexible branches to weave granery baskets in which they stored acorns. The inner bark was used to make fish nets. The leaves were chewed to easy the pain of toothaches. A tea was made from the bark to cure fever, headache, and reumatism. Today it is still used as a medicine because it contains salicitic acid which is the active ingredient in asprin.