Mature trees in New Mexico; the brightest of all trees in winter there.

These probably came with early settlers for basket-making.

Branches against a typical blue sky in New Mexico winters,

you can just about see the clouds moving.

Salix alba var vitellina

alba = white, vitellina = like egg yolk

Golden Willow  

An ancient selection of the White Willow with brilliant egg-yolk yellow stems on 1-4 year shoots. This selection is responsible for the yellow stems in every yellow-stemmed willow in cultivation This has been in cultivation in Britain since shortly after the Romans invaded in AD 43!

It has tough and flexible shoots and has been used for centuries for rough basketry and coracles. Found growing as large trees across North America and even the Southwest where settlers brought cuttings with them for basket making. Grow in full sun to get the best color; they tolerate a wide range of soil types. As we coppice every year, we do not know the sex of this selection. Only pussy willows produce catkins the first year after coppicing. Hardy to Zone 3.

USES: large ornamental tree, but if space is a consideration, can be coppiced annually to produce lots of great young stems to electrify the winter landscape; also for winter containers and vases; living structures. As with all trees do not plant near drainage pipes/septic systems.

Male catkins about to

release their pollen.


Photo courtesy of

Kevin Lindegaard



On our way to Denver via Route 84 we pass many Golden Willows.

Striking against the snowy peaks of the lower Rocky Mountains!

A young plant we keep coppiced in one of our borders Snowdrops blooming in mid-April.

First-year coppiced stems in the nursery.

An ancient specimen in the Arboretum of the Canadian Experimental Farm in Ottawa, Canada

A coppiced plant in the nursery showing the abundance of rods when cut to the ground.

Young foliage on coppiced plants. Stems are red at first and turn yellow in winter.

The same plant as above in June with Hosta and variegated shrubby dogwood. Two oxalis out for the summer in front.

A pollarded specimen in North Hill Gardens VT.


This means "form" in Botanical Nomenclature.

It is abbreviated thus: f.

In this case: vitellina is a form of

Salix alba


of Michael Dodge