About 400.
See List of Salix species

Willows, sallows, and osiers form the genus Salix, around 400 species of deciduous trees and shrubs, found primarily on moist soils in cold and temperate regions of the Northern Hemisphere. Most species are known as willow, but some narrow-leaved shrub species are called osier, and some broader-leaved species are referred to as sallow (from Old English sealh, related to the Latin word salix, willow). Some willows (particularly arctic and alpine species) are low-growing or creeping shrubs; for example, the dwarf willow (Salix herbacea) rarely exceeds 6 cm (2 in) in height, though it spreads widely across the ground.

Willows are very cross-fertile, and numerous hybrids occur, both naturally and in cultivation. A well-known ornamental example is the weeping willow (Salix × sepulcralis), which is a hybrid of Peking willow (Salix babylonica) from China and white willow (Salix alba) from Europe.

Read more about Willow:  Description, Cultivation, Ecological Issues, Pests and Diseases, Main Species

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Famous quotes containing the word willow:

    Ah! I have penetrated to those meadows on the morning of many a first spring day, jumping from hummock to hummock, from willow root to willow root, when the wild river valley and the woods were bathed in so pure and bright a light as would have waked the dead, if they had been slumbering in their graves, as some suppose. There needs no stronger proof of immortality. All things must live in such a light. O Death, where was thy sting? O Grave, where was thy victory, then?
    Henry David Thoreau (1817–1862)

    She makes the willow shiver in the sun
    For maidens who were wont to sit and gaze
    Upon the grass, relinquished to their feet.
    She causes boys to pile new plums and pears
    On disregarded plate. The maidens taste
    And stray impassioned in the littering leaves.
    Wallace Stevens (1879–1955)

    My mother dandled me and sang,
    “How young it is, how young!”
    And made a golden cradle
    That on a willow swung.
    “He went away,” my mother sang,
    “When I was brought to bed....”
    William Butler Yeats (1865–1939)