13 Willow (Salix)
© Botanischer Garten, Uni Münster

botanical background


order: Malpighiales

family: Salicaceae

genus: willows (Salix)

attributes: Willows are groves reaching a height of up to 30 meters. There are male and female specimens. Their leaves are circular oblanceolate depending on the species.

origin: subarctic up to temperate mountain regions

habitat: by now also in Australien


in the Bible

For I will pour water on him who is thirsty, and floods on the dry ground. I will pour My spirit on your seed, and My blessing on your offspring; and they shall spring up as among the grass, as willows by the water-courses.

Isaiah 44,3,4


The Bible probably refers to Salix alba or Salix acmophylla.

The willows (Hebrew  עֲרָבָה, aravah) are a metaphor for the people of Israel in Babylonian exile, because they grow very fast. They are also called „stream willows“ in German, because Leviticus (Lev 23,40) mentions willows along a river. During Sukkot, a Jewish holiday lasting several days that commemorates the fourty years the Jewish people spent in the desert, willow branches are bound together with palm leaves (Nr. 2), myrtle twigs (Nr. 4) and a citrus fruit into a festive bouquet called lulav (3Mose 23,40).


mentions: several

other text passages (selected):

Leviticus 23,40

Psalms 137,1-3

Hiob 40,22



Riede, Peter: Bachweide, in: Das wissenschaftliche Bibellexikon im Internet (Febr. 2015), URL: https://www.bibelwissenschaft.de/wibilex/das-bibellexikon/lexikon/sachwort/anzeigen/details/bachweide/ch/0018067c11eda6248c31bab82432e3e9/ (abgerufen 22.05.2023).

Modern King James Version.


© Botanischer Garten, Uni Münster
© Bibelmuseum Münster