Salix candida 'George Newman'

candida = white  

Sageleaf or Hoary Willow  

According to George the original cuttings come from the limestone barrens in western Newfoundland, probably Bellburns. This native is a tough and beautiful silver-leaved willow that can grow to 10ft, but in my garden after 6 years it is still only 4ft x 4ft. Has wooly silver leaves and stems that turn gray during the summer. Our first plants had female catkins and we recently obtained a male selection with delicate pink flowers (see next page). Grows wild in Northern North America from Alaska to Newfoundland down to WY, CO and SD in areas with cold winters and hot summers. Grows best in full sun and moist soils to which limestone has been added. Hardy to Zone 2.

USES: small ornamental shrub, use in the front of a mixed border or in a rock garden; great in a container.

NB: the drought of 2016-2018 resulted in very poor growth for this female selection, this naturally grows in swampy areas! We have created a new planting bed in the wetter area! I'd plant it in the swamp at the bottom of our property, but beavers would eat it as they eat all the other native willows there!



'George Newman' Sageleaf Willow shown in August when in full growth.

It's one of the best Salix for small gardens, rock gardens and large containers.

Salix candida 'George Newman', Thalictrum 'Black Stockings', Amsonia, Chionanthus virginiana

The metal tripod at left is for Clematis 'Betty Corning', one of my favorites!

The support is made from three 16ft x 1/2in rebars and concrete reinforcing wire and is hidden by foliage later. This was part of our garden behind the house in Vermont.


Female catkins on a plant in the nursery at left with ovaries more openly spaced.


of Michael Dodge

Female catkins on our original plan shot in mid-May

Distribution of Salix candida in the US

Map used by permission of Dr John Kartesz & BONAP



Present in County

Present in State

Present but rare

Female catkins on a plant in the nursery at left with ovaries more openly spaced.

A typical pant of 'George Newman' Sageleaf willow uteterly bursting with catkins.

Bees were very busy on these catkins just days ago!