Salix x calodendron
(viminalis x caprea x cinerea)
calo dendron = beautiful tree
This tribrid is found sporadically in Europe wherever the three species are found together. But, as in siblings in a family, no two seedlings are exactly alike. This one was selected because of its fine form and vigour. It is a fairly erect tree 20-40ft if allowed to develop a trunk or a dense bush it it is coppiced for rods. The trunks and larger branches are brown and twigs are green at first and turn red later in summer where the sun reaches them. The stems are persistently pubescent (dense hairy); they turn brown their second year. Leaves can grow to 6in long and 1.5-2in wide and are oblong or oval-shaped, pointed at top and rounded at the base of the leaf. The upper surfaces of the leaf is dull green and the undersides are densely pubescent with dense gray hairs and a prominent veins. The overwintering flower buds are short and fat and are covered with dense hairs. Female catkins are produced before the leaves (precocious) in late March or early April and are densely arranged on the ends of the stems as in S. viminalis. It grows naturally in damp places, but tolerates any soil that doesn't dry out too quickly. Hardy to Zone 3.
USES: Makes tough and flexible rods that are useful for basket-making or fedges; also used as an ornamental plant. Best if coppiced every 1-2 years to keep an abundance of stems available.
A strong straight stem on a coppiced willow, typical of S. viminalis hybrids.
All the foliage shots taken in mid-October.
Later in summer the stems turn red where the sun reaches them. Leaves have more characteristics of S. caprea and S. cinerea than S. viminalis.
Flower buds appear in late summer and are fat like its Salix caprea parent. Mid-October
As this is a clone of a hybrid, it only has female catkins.
We are not aware of a male hybrid clone of these three species, but there must be some!
The upper surface of the leaves are reticulate (crinkled) and shiny as in S. caprea.
The leaf size and shape look more like caprea and cinerea than the long narrow leaves of viminalis!
The undersides of the leaves are felty as in all three parents and feature strong venation.
Fully open catkin at left and fertilized catkin at right. Early-May
The bud scales turn red during winter sun and open in mid-April.
of Michael Dodge