for Spring 2020
Salix daphnoides ‘Continental Purple’
(daphnoides = daphne like)
This is a Western European selection of the Violet Willow that is a very vigorous grower with glossy, very dark red stems that stand out against yellow stemmed varieties or against yellow conifers. The handsome leaves are blue-green. It is a male clone with prolifically produced catkins that appear from large buds that are red at the base and yellow at the tip. If not coppiced this grows into a large, spreading bush. Hardy to Zone 4.
USES: great for ornamental uses in the garden, winter displays and cut flower; as the rods from coppicing are tall and pliable they are useful dried for making baskets and fresh for living structures.
Winter stems are very dark red, almost black and very striking against snow and yellow-stemmed varieties in the nursery and a winter garden! Early March
What could be simpler or more beautiful than black and white together in the garden? Early March
Male catkins appear in late April before the leaves, start silver-gray and then brilliant golden-yellow on lovely red stems.
Violet willow leaves are shiny rich green on the upper surface and bluish gray on the undersides. Leaf edges are serrate (finely toothed) October
Stems are green at first, bright red in late summer, near black in winter.
The diversity of willows never ceases to amaze me.
Few, if any, woody plants have the range of stem colors that have been found in willows.
Long straight stems turning brown in early Fall. Leaves stay green into November with the undersides almost white with finely matted hairs. Late September.
A flower bud with the leaf separated to expose the hairy flattened bud.
At the base of the leaf stem (petiole) there are a pair of stipules that have glands on the serrated tips and clustered at the base of each stipule (red dots). Late October.
Details of the leaf showing the venation and the serrated edges of the leaves.
On the tip of each serration is a tiny gland.
A more mature flower bud with a recurved tip. The stipule is still green. In some species stipules are quickly dehiscent (fall off), but these stay on until the leaves fall. Late October.
The underside of the leaf has a waxy coating (glaucous). Again the tips of each of the serrations have a gland at its tip. I am not sure what they are for; it's been awhile since I did plant physiology! Maybe some young whippersnapper could enlighten us!
Brilliant green new growth set against dark red stems. Wow!. Late April.
of Michael Dodge