Salix daphnoides ‘Ovaro Udine’  

daphnoides = daphne like

Violet Willow

An Italian selection of the Violet Willow that is an extremely vigorous grower with very dark stems and blue-green leaves. Unfortunately we can't find out any more information about it. In our nursery it grows to 18' in 2 years after coppicing with very little branching. It has female catkins that start gray and turn green as they mature. Hardy to Zone 4. Dried rod color: deep purple

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 furniture; fresh for living structures.



Stages of development of stem coloring on 'Ovaro Udine'. New shoots are reddish brown (see below), during the summer they turn white, next summer the red starts showing through, finally they turn a rich dark red.

Female catkins burst out of bright red overwintering buds and are gray at first; then they turn green with pinked-tipped stigmas awaiting for a bee to land on them with pollen on its undercarriage.

Foliage is finely covered with hair at first but this soon disappears and the glossy green leaves with serrated edges appears. Stems turn red by mid-summer and dark red-brown in winter.

We made this arch June 2013 (far too late, but when you have to see to customers needs first...).

It was created with 18 vertical rods all 14–16ft long and 32 diagonal rods 10–12 ft long.

Two horizontal stabilizing dried rods were used.

below: the same arch with exuberant growth in 2014, too soft and brittle to try to bend into shape.

We will tie and prune excessive growth in late winter when sap is rising and the stems are at their most flexible.

The main stems turned bluish-white in the winter in contrast to the young red stems.

At left is an 18ft rod grown in a single year.  At right a group of 15–18 footers!

Leaves are bright green at first with the bluish-gray undersides typical of the Violet Willow.

Stems are green at first and covered in short hairs.

Strong young growth in the nursery that turns in to long, straight, nearly unbranched rods.

A detail of the diagonal rods tied to the upright rod on the arch at right with new growth developing.

A late October stem showing a flower bud with a recurved tip and thin

pixie-eared stipules that have serrated ages.

Straight vertical rods with very few branchlets in the nursery. This selection keeps this upright habit and is great to use for tepees and Gothic arches. Snow melts late in Northern Vermont! Mid-April  

A cut specimen on 1/4in graph paper to show the scale of these leaves that are narrower than most daphnoides cultivars.


of Michael Dodge