Salix diversity in Belgium and the Netherlands: the use of traditional basketry as a key factor
In Belgium and the Netherlands more than 60 willow species, hybrids
and varieties are found, of which only a limited number are native species.
The majority were introduced, mainly in the 19th
century, as osiers for basketry or hoop-making purposes. Since 1997 the author has tried to
identify the willow diversity in Belgium and the Netherlands. In 2019 we have a good idea of the
diversity, but a number of names are still uncertain due to taxonomical discussions typical for
this difficult genus, with many hybrids, back-crosses and clonal cultivars. Genetic research in the
future will probably resolve some of these problems.
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