Country of origin: Trinidad & Tobago
Plant: Willow Tree
Willows form the genus Salix, number around 400 species of deciduous trees and shrubs, found primarily in moist soils along bodies of water in cold and temperate regions of the Northern Hemisphere. Willows are characterized by narrow, lance-shaped leaves and dense, pendulous clusters of small flowers, with many species having tough, pliable twigs or branches used for a variety of wickerwork. The roots are remarkable for their toughness, size, and tenacity to life, and roots readily grow from aerial parts of the plant, spread widely and are very aggressive in seeking out moisture.
The leaves and bark of the willow tree have been mentioned in ancient texts from Assyria, Sumer and Egypt as a remedy for aches and fever, and in Ancient Greece the physician Hippocrates wrote about its medicinal properties in the fifth century BC. Native Americans across the Americas relied on it as a staple of their medical treatments. The element Salicin is metabolized into salicylic acid in the human body to provide temporary pain relief, and is a precursor of aspirin.