Salix ‘Harrisons Brown’

Harrisons Brown Willow

This is the name by which we received this willow. We know nothing about it except it may have originated with the Harrisons Nursery in the late 1800's and is used extensively for basketry in Britain. The foliage is nothing like the other Harrisons selections that are all S. x rubra hybrids (viminalis x purpurea). 'Brown' is very different and distinctive; similar to S. caprea x S. cinerea hybrids; short internodes, much more upright and with few branches. So we question the authenticity of this name! Unfortunately Harrisons Nursery is no longer in existence and correspondence with English willow growers have failed to help!

This female selection flowered for us for the first time in 2015 so we hoped to determine its pedigree. Unfortunately we failed to photograph any mature leaves—oops!

If anyone has any knowledge about a willow by this name we would appreciate hearing from you (we'll trade you cuttings of any other variety for verifiable information).

USES: large ornamental tree; coarse basketry and living living structures

internode = the space between the leaves on the stem



A female catkin leaving its winter home in late April.

New leaves bursting out along the rods, they don't make many branches, just provide foliage for growth. May.

As you can see this is a strong,

upright grower. Mid April.

New growth with fine hairs on the edges

bursting out of leaf buds. Early May.

Growth a little more advanced

than the photo at left. Mid May.

Downy brown stems with a leaf bud about to expand into a shoot! Early April

One year-old rods in the nursery ready to be coppiced for rods. Early May.

A female catkin with a few stigmas awaiting pollination in early May


of Michael Dodge