Salix S365 'Showtime' (caprea x cinerea?)
caprea = goat cinerea = ashen gray
I decided that this cultivar should be called 'Showtime', as when it is in full flower it really puts on the most amazing show! ‘S365’ is a male triploid hybrid variety created at the University of Toronto as part of a research project to develop new willow cultivars. Its parentage is in question, but is most likely S. caprea × S. cinerea. It makes a fairly upright shrub 10-15ft tall with a 3-5 feet spread after three years if not coppiced. The leaves are dark green and oblong, typically 2-3in long, 1-1.5in wide, with prominent veins on the upper surface. The bark is brown when young, turning green and smooth with age. The flower buds are produced in late summer and are fat, rounded and yellow-orange in color. In late April–early May the male catkins simply explode in a mass of yellow flowers! They are sterile (pollen is not viable—but this doesn't affect bees from collecting and using the pollen! Without a doubt this is the most prolific producer of cut stems on the market today! ‘S365’ was produced as part of a biomass production program and it serves this purpose very well; it was also selected for its pest resistant. For those of us that want flowers, it's a winner; its vigour and catkin production is a bonus for us! Hardy to Zone 3.
USES: ornamental shrub, prune or coppice regularly to keep a steady supply of young shoots that provide the most catkins; bring cut stems indoors for early bouquets.
"Floribunda" is Latin for many flowered, and that's what this is—simply a mass of catkins on every stem.
No doubt one of the best cut-stem Willow ever produced! Early May.
The male catkins shown with bursting anthers exposing pollen in early May.
The mature anthers look more like those of cinerea than caprea, with their pin-cushion effect!
Leaves, stems and flower buds are typical of both caprea and cinerea in late September.
In mid-October the flower buds put on a show of their own when exposed to sun. They will eventually turn brown just before the flower burst out of the bud scales.
The photo in the middle illustrates older stems that have lost their indumentum (botanical for fuzz!)
of Michael Dodge