It has drooping branches and long yellowish twigs which hang down almost to the ground. It is native to China and is widespread in the northern hemisphere. The real Weeping willow is Salix babylonica but there are some varieties of other willow species which are very similar, like Salix alba 'Tristis' and Salix x sepulcralis 'Chrysocoma'. The trees can grow 20 m (65ft) tall and become 80 to 200 years old when they grow under favorable circumstances. Willows like moist soil and often grow close to ponds, lakes and rivers. In spring, the silvery or yellow catkins give the weeping willow a very attractive appearance. The leaves are long and narrow. In autumn they turn golden yellow before they fall off. Weeping willows can be beautiful bonsai but their care and styling is not particularly easy. They need a lot of water and their strong growth must be controlled. It is best to make larger willow bonsai because the hanging branches and leaves need enough room. The shoots need to be wired downwards all the time because they tend to grow upwards to reach the willow's genetically predetermined height. Willows sometimes lose branches which die for no apparent cause.