Salix x calliantha
(purpurea x daphnoides)
xcalliantha = beautiful flower
This hybrid Willow becomes an erect small tree that can grow to 20ft, but better if pruned regularly after flowering. It has the positive characteristics of both parents. Young stems are red and young leaves start red, becoming shiny dark green above and bluish-green beneath. The female catkins are 2-3in long; mine hasn't flowered yet, but the photo I borrowed shows long green flowers. Grows 5-6ft in one year after coppicing.
Hardy to Zone 3.
USES: These tough and flexible rods are useful for basket-making or small fedges; also used as an ornamental plant. Best if coppiced every 1-2 years to keep an abundance of red stems available.
fedge = fence + hedge, this is a living fence created with dormant willow rods
A bundle of young stems cut in April with young flowers. Bright red young foliage in September
both photos courtesy of West Wales Willows
Beautiful slender red stems of S. xcalliantha
below: the undersides of the leaves are somewhat glaucous (blue-gray)
that rubs off with handling.
Below is a first for us: a photograph of the female catkins in late May.
I was able to photograph ours as they produced catkins for the first time in 2017 after 7 years in the nursery. A bumper year for Willows that hadn't flowered before!
Beautiful dark red stems, red petioles and flattened catkin buds in the axils of the leaves. Late October.
The undersides of the leaves are paler than the tops with a prominant pale mid-rib. The glaucous undersides have lost all the waxy coating.
of Michael Dodge