This section is from the book "Commercial Gardening Vol4", by John Weathers (the Editor). Also available from Amazon: Commercial Gardening, A Practical & Scientific Treatise For Market Gardeners.
All the Willows are valuable ornamentally and economically, and possess the advantage of growing well in almost any soil, although they prefer a moist loam to develop thoroughly. The White or Huntingdon Willow (8. alba), a moisture-loving species, is well known on account of its silky white leaves. The variety ccerulea probably produces the finest cricket-bat wood known; while vitellina, with yellow- and red-barked forms, supplies the Golden Osiers. The Crack Willow or Withy (S. fragilis) grows up to 90 ft. high, and has narrow glossy leaves. The timber is good for cricket bats. The Bedford Willow is a form known as Russelliana. The Goat Willow or Sallow (S. Caprea) is a shrubby plant with roundish wrinkled leaves. The small plants furnish the "Palms" for Palm Sunday, and the Pussy Willows of schoolboys. The variety pendula is the "Kilmarnock Weeping Willow", S. pentandra, 20 ft., with broad smooth glossy leaves, is the Bay Willow;
8. incana or rosmarinifolia has narrow Rosemary-like leaves; S vimi~ nalis, when cut down every year, provides the osiers from which the bushel and half-bushel baskets used by market gardeners and others are made; and the well-known Weeping Willow is S. babylonica. Willows of all kinds are easily raised from cuttings, but also from seeds. The weeping kinds are grafted on standards of the commoner kinds.
Certain species of Willows, like aurita, herbacea, lanata, Myrsinitcs, reticulata, nigricans, and repens, are dwarf and creeping in habit, and are useful rock-garden plants.