Salix amygdaloides

amygdaloides = almond like

Peachleaf Willow

This delightful willow is native to most of North America except the Southeast and can grow from 10-60ft, but I have only seen it as a relatively modest shrub growing in nutrient poor soil on the shores of Lake Champlain in VT. Prof. George Argus came down from Ottowa to show me where this plant was; our first cuttings came from this plant. His find was the first time that it was seen in Vermont. George wrote the Salicaceae section of the Flora of North America that is well worth studying to learn about North American Salix (and Poplars). The Peachleaf Willow has very lovely foliage that is soft, thin and long-pointed, on long slender stems. Both male and female catkins were produced in 2017 to our great delight. To keep this plant at an accommodating size, coppice every 1-2 years and it will reward you with lots of handsome foliage. Hardy to Zone 3(2?).

USES: as an ornamental shrub, the long thin stems are very useful for fine basketry.

Distribution of S. amygdaloides

Map used by permission of Dr John Kartesz & BONAP





Present in County

Present in State

Present but rare

S. amygdaloides on a sand-bar in Lake Champlain, South Hero VT

Peachleaf Willow thriving in the nursery after being coppiced, shown in August.

My marvellous mentor, Prof. George Argus:

Mr. Salix himself, while visiting our nursery.

This is the tree that George Argus discovered in VT. The same tree in June and late March, on the edge of Lake Champlain, West Swanton VT.  In 2021 I checked this willow and it had died

While photographing the Peach-leaf Willow beside Lake Champlain, a pair of Osprey were fishing overhead. I just couldn't resist!





Twiggy branches of the wild tree

lower right.

Flower bud forms in October.

We have female plants, so we hoped for a male and discovered that we did in 2017.

Peach-leaf willow growing in Lake Champlain, VT with vigorous new growth appearing at the base of the tree! June.

The two-year old stems turn tan-green.

Shown in October

First year stems are green with a waxy cover that gradually peels off. October

Leaves are smooth shiny green on top, bluish green underneath and turn brilliant yellow in Autumn!

All three photos shot in late October!

This was a surprise to us, cuttings from the Morton Arboretum had young foliage that was flushed red giving a great ornamental effect.

Below: the same plants produced bright red stems a little later.

This is a native plant that is not well known and more people should grow!

A female catkin on cuttings from West Swanton VT.

Male catkins on cuttings from the Morton Arboretum.

Male catkins on cuttings from the Morton Arboretum.


of Michael Dodge