Willows, in the Salix genera and the Salicaceae family, are shrubs or trees which mainly grow near watercourses and riparian areas. Willows may range from large trees to small shrubs such as coyote willow. They are even found in the tundra where they are only a few inches tall. Willows generally have long green glabrous leaves which may be whitish on the bottoms. Willows form thick shrouds around many creeks or lakes. The chemical which is used to produce aspirin is found in willows; Native Americans would chew willow branches to reduce the pain of toothaches.

A Zelda-like adventure game for the NES based on the movie by George Lucas. Unlike most video games that are based on movies, this one was actually quite good. It was fairly big, and it followed the movie so closely that I was able to beat Bavmorda (the final boss) only after acting on a clue I got from watching the movie!

I also remember the game for its superb music. The only occasion I can remember feeling scared while playing a video game, was while walking in the caves in Willow. I was 12 or 13 at the time, so I had stopped being afraid of the dark, but I was a little bit jumpy while walking outdoors after having been playing the game for a couple of hours.

The pussy willow belongs to the willow family, Salicaceae.

Pussy willows can be a shrub or a small tree. Their typical habit is to grow long, straight twigs without side branches that are covered in soft, velvety flower buds called catkins in the very early Spring / late Winter before the leaves sprout. The catkins look and feel like little kitten paws.

Pussy Willow is the common name for several species of willow family. The scientific name for the most common pussy willow is Salix discolor. It has gray catkins and brown branches. It is hardy in Zones 4–8 and is native to the Eastern United States. Several other species of willow with silky catkins are also known as pussy willows.

If the cut branches are placed in water indoors, in late winter, once the buds are fat but while they are still tight, they will open in the vase.

Flower Arranging:
If they are left in water after the buds open they will continue to mature, with the male catkins developing yellow pollen and leaves will appear along the branch. This is not desirable if the branches are being used for a decorative arrangement. If the decorative element of the branches is to be preserved they should be removed from water and allowed to dry after the buds are fully open but before the pollen and leaves appear. If handled gently the branches will retain the catkins indefinitely.

On the other hand if propagation is desired, willow branches left in the water will develop roots and can be planted to grow new plants. In fact willows root very easily in general and will often form a new plant if a cut branch is simply stuck in the ground.

Willow Lore:
In addition to the bark of the (all) willows having the active ingredient found in aspirin (salicylic acid) a tonic called "willow water" contains hormones that induce the roots of stem cuttings from other plants to grow. Soaking young, green willow stems (of any type) in a covered jar of water will make "willow water".


Poor, and of no reputation.

To wear the willow ; to be abandoned by a lover or mistress.

The 1811 Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue.

Willow (1988)

This movie was released in the US in 1988, written by George Lucas and directed by Ron Howard.

The ILM-produced special effects are what set this movie apart from any other sword-and-sorcery flick to date, which is pretty much what you'd expect from Lucas. In abundance are miniature brownies, magical zaps, a giant two-headed dragon, and a character being transformed from one animal into another via the then-new technology of digital morphing.

As for the story, though, there's nothing spectacular about it. (We are, of course, all quite glad that George Lucas wasn't directing this one as well.) The main characters are a kidnapped baby, an evil witch-queen, a hobbit--er, dwarf--rescuer, one heroic prince--er, swordsman--as a good guy, and a beautiful but vicious woman as the leader of the queen's guard who, naturally, falls in love with him at the end. It starts out like the Biblical tale of Moses and turns into "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs" crossed with "Sleeping Beauty" shortly thereafter. Magic and battles abound, but let's face it, this particular facet of the fantasy genre has been so well-traveled in Disney movies by now that there's not much more to see.

In his "Star Wars" movies, Lucas explicitly wanted to take the old sci-fi serials he loved as a kid and make them into a big, beautiful, effects-laden motion picture everyone could watch and remember. He succeeded beyond his wildest dreams in that, but his ability to use juvenile adventure clichés as fodder for a screenplay is not unlimited.

Methinks he hoped that "Willow" could do for the sword-and-sorcery genre what "Star Wars" did for science fiction, but there just wasn't enough new in this movie to make it happen. Fortunately for the fantasy genre, Peter Jackson finally succeeded at this with the cinematic "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy. Which, I suppose, only goes to show that originality in Hollywood isn't always something to cheer for.

Wil"low (?), n. [OE. wilowe, wilwe, AS. wilig, welig; akin to OD. wilge, D. wilg, LG. wilge. Cf. Willy.]

1. Bot.

Any tree or shrub of the genus Salix, including many species, most of which are characterized often used as an emblem of sorrow, desolation, or desertion. "A wreath of willow to show my forsaken plight." Sir W. Scott. Hence, a lover forsaken by, or having lost, the person beloved, is said to wear the willow.

And I must wear the willow garland For him that's dead or false to me. Campbell.

2. Textile Manuf.

A machine in which cotton or wool is opened and cleansed by the action of long spikes projecting from a drum which revolves within a box studded with similar spikes; -- probably so called from having been originally a cylindrical cage made of willow rods, though some derive the term from winnow, as denoting the winnowing, or cleansing, action of the machine. Called also willy, twilly, twilly devil, and devil.

Almond willow, Pussy willow, Weeping willow. Bot. See under Almond, Pussy, and Weeping. -- Willow biter Zool. the blue tit. [Prov. Eng.] -- Willow fly Zool., a greenish European stone fly (Chloroperla viridis); -- called also yellow Sally. -- Willow gall Zool., a conical, scaly gall produced on willows by the larva of a small dipterous fly (Cecidomyia strobiloides). -- Willow grouse Zool., the white ptarmigan. See ptarmigan. -- Willow lark Zool., the sedge warbler. [Prov. Eng.] -- Willow ptarmigan Zool. (a) The European reed bunting, or black-headed bunting. See under Reed. (b) A sparrow (Passer salicicolus) native of Asia, Africa, and Southern Europe. -- Willow tea, the prepared leaves of a species of willow largely grown in the neighborhood of Shanghai, extensively used by the poorer classes of Chinese as a substitute for tea. McElrath. -- Willow thrush Zool., a variety of the veery, or Wilson's thrush. See Veery. -- Willow warbler Zool., a very small European warbler (Phylloscopus trochilus); -- called also bee bird, haybird, golden wren, pettychaps, sweet William, Tom Thumb, and willow wren.


© Webster 1913.

Wil"low (?), v. t.

To open and cleanse, as cotton, flax, or wool, by means of a willow. See Willow, n., 2.


© Webster 1913.

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