Salix cinerea L.

Sp.Pl. 2:1021 (1753)
Conservation Code
Not threatened
Naturalised Status
Alien to Western Australia
Name Status

Weeping tree or shrub, to 10 m high. Black peaty sand over clay. Slope above river.

Amanda Spooner, Descriptive Catalogue, 23 June 2008


IBRA Regions
Swan Coastal Plain, Warren.
IBRA Subregions
Perth, Warren.
Local Government Areas (LGAs)
Bayswater, Manjimup.

Management Notes (for the Swan NRM Region)

Alternative Names. Pussy willow.

General Biology. Growth form. Shrub/Small Tree. Reproduction. Mainly seed, rarely stem fragments. Dispersal. Wind, water. Seedbank persistence. Short, 2 to 6 weeks. Fire response. Older plants may be killed by fire, however young trees can sprout from buried portion of stem.

Notes. The most seriously invasive willow. Is expanding its range rapidly in Victoria and New South Wales, and possibly Tasmania. As it is a seeding willow, prevention of spread is difficult as seed can be dispersed over large areas. Deciduous. Both male and female flowers/catkins are recorded in the eastern States however only male catkins are currently recorded in Western Australia. Highly invasive in swamps, drainage lines and other moist sites. Forms hybrids with other shrub willows. Sheds prolific seed four weeks after flowering. Plants are male or female or both. Flowering and production of seed can begin as soon as 2 or 3 years after germination. Unlike the tree willows (subgenus Salix), catkins of the shrub willows (subgenus Vetrix) emerge well before the leaves, hence no leaves are seen on the stems.

Additional information. Origin. Eurasia, North Africa. History of use/introduction. Planted along waterways for stabilisation, windbreaks on farms. Similar exotic species. Salix caprea, S. x reichardtii S. purpurea.

Suggested method of management and control. Small infestations of plants less than 1m can be hand removed. Use cut and paint method with 50% glyphosate on larger plants throughout the year, however results may be variable in spring. Remove and safely dispose of all material to prevent regeneration from cut pieces. Follow-up monitoring and control of any regrowth or seedlings may be required for several years after initial control. Read the manufacturers' labels and material safety data sheets before using herbicides. For further information consult the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority to determine the status of permits for your situation or state.

Management Calendar

Calendar Type Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Comments
Dormant           Y Y Y          
Active Growth Y Y             Y Y Y Y  
Germination Y Y               Y Y Y  
Flowering                 Y Y      
Fruiting O                 O Y Y  
Optimum Treatment Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y   Y Y Y  

Legend: Y = Yes, regularly, O = Occasionally, U = Uncertain, referred by others but not confirmed.



  • Brown, K. & Brooks, K. (2002) Bushland Weeds: A Practical Guide to their Management. Environmental Weeds Action Network, Greenwood.
  • CRC Weed Management (2003) Weed management guide. Willow - Salix spp. CRC for Australian Weed Management.
  • Cremer, K. (1999) Willow Management for Australian Rivers. Natural Resource Management, The Australian Association of Natural Resource Management URL:
  • Cremer, K.W. (2003) Introduced willows can become invasive pests. Biodiversity, 4 (4): 7-24 Tropical Conservancy, Ottawa, Canada.
  • Department of Primary Industries, Victoria (2008) Willow identification. Willow Resource Sheet 2. State Government of Victoria.
  • Hussey, B.M.J., Keighery, G.J., Dodd, J., Lloyd, S.G. & Cousens, R.D. (2007) Western Weeds. A guide to the weeds of Western Australia. 2nd Edition. The Plant Protection Society of Western Australia, Victoria Park.
  • Pope, L., Rutherford, I., Price, P. & Lovett, S. (2006) Controlling willows along Australian rivers. Land & Water Australia, Canberra. River Management Technical Guidleine no. 6.