Salix 'Onondaga'

purpurea x koriyanagi

Patented Hybrid Willow  

Cuttings of this hybrid were given to me by a friend who wouldn't tell me from where he obtained them--so he must have been naughty! I studied the catkins and the leaves of this willow and determined that it must be a hybrid between purpurea and koriyanagi, but I had never seen that cross in the literature from the breeding program at SUNY Syracuse. Then I corresponded with Dr Timothy Volk of SUNY Syracuse who told me that they had received a willow named SH3 and cross pollinated it with a Salix purpurea clone. They named one of the seedlings 'Onondaga' and patented it. I connected the SH with the name of the Salix "Howkii' I had seen in Saville Gardens, and which I had determined was correctly Salix koriyanagi. The Howkii name was still in use in Western Europe so I suggested that they corrected this. I knew our plants had to be a patented variety as it appeared to be a cross between the purple willow and the Korean willow and these hybrids are all patented.

This is a female selection and is a vigorous grower with clean foliage rarely bothered by pests and diseases.

This is an inspired cross as these willows are two of the finest species I have grown and the cross is even finer in some ways. For one thing it has inherited the pest resistance and lack of early leaf drop from Salix koriyanagi and is deer resistant.

USES: Makes great slender rods for fine basketry and other art projects; also the rods are great for elegant willow structures such as Harlequin Trees.

above and below: Stages of development of the female catkins.

Vigorous growth in the nursery Summer and Winter.

Foliage is intermediate between the two species; the reddish coloring on the new foliage makes for a colorful display.

The clean, green foliage is some of the most pest-resistant of all willows!


of Michael Dodge