Salix hybrid SV1 'Lady in Green'

Hybrid Willow

This hybrid was created at the University of Toronto's biomass breeding program a few decades ago and its parentage is unknown; it possibly includes Salix caprea, S. cinerea and S. viminalis as it is similar to S. xcalodendron, S. xholosericea and S. xsmithiana. Because it is a female clone with showy green stigmas we decided to give it the name 'Lady in Green'. The leaves are 2-3in long by 1-1.5in wide and bright green. Young shoots are brown and are covered with dense short hairs; later the stems turn green and smooth as they age. As one would expect with a biomass willow it grows fast, so stand back after you plant it as it really takes off! It grows 15-20ft tall with a 3-5ft crown spread at three years.

USES: Biofuels; makes a great screen or windbreak; rods can be used for living structures.

Information about this hybrid was supplied by Cornell University's web site Willowpedia at:



Strongly vertical shoots are featured in this mid-October shot.

The foliage of this hybrid is still a lush green in mid-October when all the Maples are brilliant red-orange. The undersides has fine hairs and are paler.

The female catkins are at their peak in mid-May and feature green stigmas and hairy ovaries.

Mid-October and the flower buds for next spring are almost fully developed. Because these buds are not red, this may not include Salix caprea in it's parentage.

In late May the ovaries are splitting open to release the white fluff that will carry the seeds in the wind.

Hopefully they will land in a moist sunny spot where they will germinate. Like Orchids, they produce seed in great abundance because the likelihood of finding the right conditions is remote.

Leaves and young stems are slightly downy at first especially on the undersides, they lose that as they mature, see the photo at right.


of Michael Dodge