Willow (Salix spp.)
Exposure: part shade to full sun
Soil: thrives in wet conditions; grows in a range of soil types.
Growth habits: Varies by species and variety.
Landscape uses: Use as screen or to hold stream banks.
Useful properties: The species and varieties we carry are selected for use in basketry and for making living sculptures.
Click here for audio from Chuck's 2010 Organic Growers School presentation.
$8.00/4", $30/3 gal - not all varieties available in all sizes
S. alba Vitellina – Golden Willow - large tree; 65'; rich yellow or orange new growth; strong and vigorous. 'Vitellina' is not found in the wild, however, it has been cultivated since Roman times and is still widely used today. The strong flexible rods are excellent for basketry, but most outstanding is the rich egg-yolk colored stems providing winter color. Coppicing yields 6’ long stems with very little branching. Keep this away from building foundations.
S. hagensis - large wide-spreading shrub; 17-20'; brown new growth; leaves are spoon shaped, glossy green above and grey underneath. Uses:basketry, ornamental - large gardens, living willow structures, furniture, fall color, catkins, biomass, windbreaks.
S. purpurea ssp. lambertiana - large shrub or small tree; 20'; rich brown new growth; wide oval leaves; vigorous and hardy. Salix purpurea can be broadly divided into two distinct leaf forms. Broad leaves and is one of Britain's best ornamental willows and is also excellent for basket-making. Very similar to S. purpurea 'Eugenii'.
S. triandra 'Black Maul' –large shrub; 35'; dark maroon-black new growth; very bright fall colors; highly ornamental. Probably the most widely used willow for baskets with varieties growing throughout Europe, Britain, the Middle East and into central Asia. Related species are also found in Japan and China. 'Black Maul' breaks dormancy well after most other willows have bloomed. Throws 7' rods, which makes it an excellent choice for living willow structures. A good willow for butterflies and bees.
S. triandra 'Noir de Villane' - large shrub; 26'; dark maroon-black new growth; very bright fall colours; highly ornamental. A popular willow for basketry in Europe. Like 'Black Maul', S. triandra 'Noir de Villane' breaks dormancy well after most other willows have bloomed. Throws 7' rods, which makes it an excellent choice for living willow structures. A good willow for butterflies and bees.
S. viminalis - Common osier, Basket willow - large shrub or small tree; 10-20' tall; deep yellow to reddish brown new growth; numerous yellow catkins in early spring; highly ornamental. Most basket-type willows are highly ornamental and the common osier is no exception. The three most frequently used willows for basketry are Salix purpurea, Salix triandra and Salix viminalis. When these three are interplanted in a border, the variety of stem color in the winter garden rivals any other season. There are two ways to grow this plant - pruned or left to grow to its natural form. A good willow for butterflies and bees.