(Salix eriocephala selection/hybrid)
(incorrectly listed as Salix xcotteti 'Bankers' by the USDA)
A selection that was said to be a "dwarf willow" from the alpine region of Western Germany. 'Bankers', was released by the USDA Quicksand, Kentucky Plant Materials Center in 1983 as Salix xcottetii 'Bankers' (see below the 'Bankers' photos). Unfortunately a Government mix-up must have happened as this plant is a cultivar of a North American Willow; Salix eriocephala. At first I thought that is a selection of Salix myricoides, but that species is a pussy willow--catkins appear before the leaves. Regardless of its history, it is a cool selection. It is more compact and denser than other forms Salix eriocephala; although the leaves look like smaller versions of the Salix myricoides so perhaps it is a hybrid between the two? This is a female selection with green catkins about 2in long on short leafy stems. In summer 2017 I saw a plant of Bankers about 10ft high and 10ft wide, but it is much more attractive if coppiced reularly. Hardy to Zone 4.
USES: as a tidy small, but vigorous shrub (if coppiced reularly).
Is 'Bankers' a Salix eriopcephala or a Salix myricoides? Only a DNA test would make it certain.
Salix myricoides. No basal leaves at the base of the catkin.
Salix eriocephala notice the small leaves at the base of catkin.
This lady produces lots of catkins.
These are not pussy willows as they are produced with the leaves.
Plants in the nursery from cuttings taken in 2015, these plants smother weeds they are such dense growers.
We obtained our cuttings from Bill Hendricks, at the Flynn Nursery in Ohio.
Bright green leaves on bright red stems.
Young plants in the nursery in early Spring after coppicing to produce bushier plants.
The same plants in mid-October.
Below is the "true" Salix xcottetii in the Reykavic BG, Iceland, July 5 2017. As you can see, it has a dwarf spreading hybrid, not upright like 'Bankers'.
of Michael Dodge