sold out

for Spring 2017

Salix alba var vitellina 'Cardinal'  

Cardinal Willow

I was allowed to take cuttings from this plant at the Chicago Botanic Gardens in exchange for cuttings from Vermont Willow Nursery and assistance with the nomenclature of their extensive collection of Salix. It is very similar to 'Britzensis', but is a deeper shade of red and a female selection, whereas 'Britzensis' is male. It also goes by the name S. alba 'Coccinea', but 'Cardinal' takes precedent. Obviously likes full sun, moist soil and grows well beside a pond, stream or river. Frequent coppicing is recommended to get the brightest colors; this should be done in late Winter, before leaf-break. As with all vigorous trees, don’t plant near drainage pipes. Native to Europe. Hardy to Zone 4. Dried rod color: orange to red.

USES: Winter color, firewood, ornamental tree.

Willow Color Border by the North Lake at the Chicago Botanic Garden with S. alba 'Cardinal' at the far end!

This was shot in early-April, a great time to visit the garden!

Below: the two shrubs strutting their stuff after being coppiced two-years before!

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Female catkins open in mid-May with the leaves (coetaneous) and bees love them!

The base of the plants at the Chicago BG in mid-May, the more sunshine the stems receive, the deeper the color.

Bright red bark of young stems in the nursery.

Photographed in October at left; early-May at right with buds opening.

In mid-May the red stems are smothered with leaves and the shoot tips will turn yellow.

sorry, sold out for



of Michael Dodge