Broadest at tip
Purple Emperor Buterfly
The leaves are oval,
alternate, up to 9 cm long and
2-3 times as long as broad. They are often widest near the top and are
somewhat shiny, dark-green above, greyish white, with a few reddish
hairs, below and have an undulate, bluntly-toothed margin. The leaf-stalks
are less than 10 mm long with a pair of small, ear-shaped leaf-like
stipules where they join the stem,
though these usually soon fall off.
Grey Willow is
a deciduous shrub or small tree,
with a dark brown bark, fissured with age. It grows up to 10m high
and is much branched from the base, to form a round or flattened crown.
It is a willow of fens, marshes, streamsides, boggy and wet woodlands.
It grows to over 600 m above sea level in Scotland.
Male and female
flowers are in catkins which appear
before the leaves on separate trees (dioecious)
in March and April.
are 2-3 cm long and erect on short stalks. The cylindrical male catkins
are densely, grey and hairy with yellow anthers.
The female catkins are smaller,
greener and more slender.
The stems below
the bark on young twigs are marked by vertical lines called striae.
of some leaves have bean galls,
about 6mm wide and 12 mm long, containing a sawfly grub.
The male catkins
are full of pollen which is of great value to early bees and other
The leaves are
the food of the caterpillars of the Purple