Valsa sordida Nitschke, Valsaceae
The trunk and branches of Bebb Willow (Salix bebbiana Sarg., Salicaceae) and other willow species are inhabited by a fungus, named Valsa sordida, darkening the wood to a wonderful reddish-brown and creating diamond-shaped patches. These sections take on forms of elongated ovals or diamond-shaped long and narrow or short and wide, sunken lesions, and the resulting material is named 'diamond willow'.
Diamond willow is a rewarding material to work with in wood carving and furniture making as its natural esthetics and attractive patterns make carving look quite easy. Diamond willow is a material that's highly sought after for making decorative canes, lamp posts, candle holders, ceremonial sticks, and adding accents to furniture.
We wild-harvest our diamond willow for wood carving projects in May in northern Saskatchewan.