Salix daphnoides ‘Oxford Violet’  

daphnoides = daphne like  

Violet Willow

An English selection of the Violet Willow that is more compact than other selections of this species. There is some confusion about the sex of 'Oxford Violet' as I have seen both male and female plants labelled under this name. Ours is a lady! Young twigs are a delightful pale violet and turn turquoise with a white bloom in the second year. Does not need to be pruned back as frequently as other selections. Leaves are glossy green and white underneath at first. Hardy to Zone 4.

USES: great for ornamental uses in the garden, winter displays and cut stems; produces shorter rods for baskets and low fedges.

Young twigs are reddish-brown at first, green in mid summer, then a delightful pale violet color,

white during late summer and second year stems turn a pale turquoise in winter. L early-May, R March.



Foliage of 'Oxford Violet' is reddish at first, then rich shiny green with whitish undersides

that gradually pale to a bluish green. Leaves are broader than other Violet Willow selections. September

Vigorous growth in the nursery with white stems and broad ovate leaves. July

Leaves are finely toothed at the edges, thick textured and a rich green in color. August.

Undersides of the leaves are bluish gray = glaucous.

Small stipules at the base of the leaf petioles.

Late September and flower buds are swelling, they turn red-brown over winter.

Here are the male (L) and female (R) catkins, both labelled 'Oxford Violet'!

Note the fuzzy stems of the female, that might be important taxonomically! March

'Oxford Violet' with bright red stems and lots of silver pussy willows. March.

photo courtesy of

The trunk of our original plant and a trunk of a younger specimen.

Brilliant white stems of the previous year's growth contrast with the bright green of current year's stems. July

Bright green stem in September.

Our ladies with pollenated ovaries swelling in early May. As we do not have the male form, any male willow in bloom at the same time could be the other parent. Such naughtiness.

Our original plant covered with catkins in early April.

There will be lots of nectar for bees on this plant.

Pussy willows have burst out of their catkins  in early April and soon will turn green.


of Michael Dodge