Salix 'Aquatica Gigantea Korso’
aquatica = grows by water
This selection was developed in Finland as part of their willows for biofuels program after the first Gulf War, to reduce their reliance on Middle-Eastern petroleum. It is named after a town of that name. It's extremely vigorous and one of the earliest willows to flower, even as early as late February in Northern Vermont! The male catkins start pink and gradually turn silver-gray as they expand to 2in plus; then the anthers pop out and add gold to the display! Mature leaves are some of the largest of all hardy willows, reaching 8–10in long (that's where the "Gigantea" comes from). Will grow to 18ft in two years after coppicing; this encourages young shoots that produce the most flowers. As the name indicates it can tolerate damp soils and flowers best in full sun. As with all trees, do not plant near drainage pipes/septic systems. Hardy to Zone 3.
USES: large ornamental shrub, but coppiced every 3-4 years to produce lots of young stems to enhance the winter landscape; long-lasting as a cut flower and can be forced into flower after the turn of the year. Good for large garden structures, coarse basketry and, of course, biofuels. Why is the USA so far behind on this?
Male catkins open pink in early March, turn to sliver-gray and grow much larger as they mature.
Stems have a light grayish-brown, felty indumentum (fuzzy hairs).
Typical long rods of coppiced
'Aquatica Gigantea Korso' dwarfing a
S. purpurea coppiced at the same time.
Young stems are felty to the touch.
Huge dark green leaves are very impressive. August
Undersides of leaves are also felty at first
Typical abundant growth from a coppiced plants in September
As stems mature they lose their felt and turn green-brown. That's a vegetative bud!
Here's a 'Korso' leaf with a typical purpurea leaf sitting in the middle. A little different in size!
Stages of development of the male catkins. April
Long straight shoots covered in catkins; they make excellent rods for building living structures.
Lush new growth 5ft high by mid June with the largest leaves of any willow we offer.
The foliage with the pink tinge it front is S. 'Winter Glory' (gracilistyla x caprea)
formerly misnamed S. chaenomeloides!
Late September and flower buds pop up in the axils of the leaves. Note the leafy stipules at the base of the leaf!
Catkins are white when they first appear. April
Bright red anthers swell to allow
the pollen to pop! Early May
Snow doesn't damage the flowers unless the pollen is on the loose! Early April
Pollen's here all you bees! Mid-April
Look at the luxuriant growth from this coppiced plant. Late May
There must be at least 20 rods forming.
of Michael Dodge