Salix purpurea

Scientific name: Salix purpurea

Synonym: Salix purpurea ‘Helix’


Common names: “Purple osier willow” “bitter willow” “basket willow”

Plant Type: Deciduous, shrub or small tree


Zone: 5-10

Light: Full sun best- part shade

Exposure: Sheltered

Soil: Deep, fertile – average

Moisture: Moist – wet, handles poor drainage


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Plant Size: ‘ H 12′-24 W 8′-12’

Leaf and Stem shape: Arching purple shoots bearing narrowly oblong, blue-green leavesImage result for salix purpurea

Flower: slender silvery catkins before leaves in early spring

Pruning: None required, can be thinned lightly in late winter or early spring, may be coppiced every 3 – 5 years

Maintenance: Low

Landscape use: Hedges and screens, coastal wildlife garden, erosion control, banks of streams and ponds

Propagate: By cuttings, layering

Pests & Disease: Aphids and caterpillars may cause problems, susceptible to willow anthracnose and rust in some regions

*Deer resistant , attracts butterflies

Comments: Bark contains medicinal chemicals, flexible twigs can be used in wicker furniture and basket weaving

Cultivars: Salix purpurea ‘Pendula’ – ~AGM winner

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