Purpleosier willow (Eng), bardaguera blanca, sarga, sauce (Spa); salgueiro nodoso (Glg); sázeiro, borrazeira-branca (Por).
“...the willows distilled sweet manna, the fountains laughed, the brooks babbled, the woods rejoiced, and the meadows arrayed themselves in all their glory at her coming.”
'Don Quixote', Miguel de Cervantes
Shrub or small tree up to 6 m tall. Leaves deciduous, simple, alternate, dark greyish-green, hairy on the upper side and densely hairy on the underside giving them a felted look. They are highly variable in terms of shape: oval, oblong, lanceolate, linear and all combinations of these. The tip is pointed and obtuse and the leaf stalk is also hairy. They are 2-10 cm long and 1-2 cm wide. The margin is entire, serrated, toothed or with spaced teeth, and somewhat turned back towards the underside. The flowers are borne on long filaments called catkins and appear at the same time as the leaves, in contrast to many other willows, whose flowers develop prior to the sprouting of the leaves. The fruits are capsules that open when ripe to release seeds wrapped in a cottony material that helps them be dispersed by the wind.
This species lives along streams and watercourses that sometimes suffer long droughts, at altitudes of between 300 and 1700 m. It is indifferent to the substrate, but prefers the acid soils that are most common in the western half of the Iberian Peninsula.
This species is endemic to the Iberian Peninsula and is particularly abundant in the central and central-western part.