Salix alba var vitellina 'Basfordiana'

alba = white  vitellina = like egg yolk

Basford = a town in central England

Basford Golden Willow

Left unpruned this will form a tree to 50ft tall, but we coppice ours every year and end up with 8-10ft golden rods. The trunks of trees do not stay yellow, only the 1-3 year growth. One of the best gold-stem willows we have. In spring the 2.5in catkins appear with the attractive shiny pendulous leaves. This male selection has bright golden-yellow catkins in late April in VT. Discovered in 1870 by an English nurseryman, William Scaling. Hardy to Zone 3. Dried rod color: orange to red

USES: Great for winter color in a vase or in the garden. Can be dried for basket making and other objet d’art. Best if coppiced yearly to keep a steady supply of stems.

'Basfordiana' used in a whimsical way in the superb Reford Garden in Metis on the south shore of the St Lawrence River in Quebec.

Braided stems like this will result in the stems grafting together as they age. They would not survive growing in these containers, but the containers could be split open to plant them somewhere more permanant .



Basfordiana, seen here in our nursery, has the brightest gold stems of all the willows Ive seen and grown! Dazzling in winter against a brilliant blue sky! Late March, when they are at their brightest!

left: A young specimen of basfordiana in the Winter Garden showing its upright habit and bright yellow branches.

Growing with Red- and Yellow-stem Dogwoods and Blue Spruce. Mid-April

New growth of 'Basfordiana' is bright red as are many xfragilis selections,

they later turn green on top and grayish underneath. July 20 (L) Aug 18 (R)

Young male catkins at left, pollen laden in center and a branch with flowers all over–what a display! Early May.

Yellow stems aglow in snow.

Early March.

Part of our stock in late July. Vigorous growth, over 6ft tall and glowing red tips to the foliage.

'Basfordiana' in the garden of Tapani Uronen, in the tiny village of Kasiniemi, Finland, North of Helsinki. An incredibly knowledgeable plantsman and Salicologist. This tree is about 20 years old I'm guessing. I visited him in 2017 and realized how much more there is

for me to learn about willows.

Left: several selections of xfragilis have red new foliage; one way to be certain that it cannot be a Salix alba cultivar. This selection is one of the best.

Late July.


of Michael Dodge