Osier - Salix viminalis Osier - Salix viminalis (Salicaceae) HEIGHT to 6m. Spreading shrub or small tree. Rarely reaches full potential, being regularly cropped for long flexible twigs (‘withies’), used for weaving. Natural crown is narrow with slightly pendulous branches. SHOOTS Straight twigs are flexible, covered with greyish hairs when young, becoming smoother and shiny olive-brown with age. LEAVES Narrow, tapering, to 15cm long, the margin usually waved and rolled under; underside has grey woolly hairs. REPRODUCTIVE PARTS Male and female catkins, to 3cm long, appear before leaves on separate trees; erect or slightly curved. Males are yellow, females browner. STATUS AND DISTRIBUTION Common native tree in wet habitats. Often planted for withies, masking its true native range.