Willow Identification Key: Osier Willows
The osiers, or basket willows, are tall shrubs with slender branches and long narrow leaves. The leaves are 3 to 10 times longer than wide and usually having a smooth or irregularly toothed margin. The leaves and bark of some osiers have a high salicin content and are usually very bitter to taste. The catkins are large and closely-spaced along the one-year old shoots. They appear 2-3 weeks before the leaves.