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Salix integra ‘Hakuro Nishiki’

integra = entire, untoothed

Dappled Willow

One of the most popular ornamental shrubs in home gardens today. This selection of a Japanese/Korean species gives a startling display all summer if grown in full sun. It’s often seen grown as a grafted standard (see below) and best pollarded yearly in late winter to keep lots of spectacular new shoots. It can be made into unique hedges and fedges; but don’t make the mistake of clipping it in summer, as you would other hedges, or you’ll end up with tufts of new foliage only at the top. Better to coppice it every 2-3 years to get lots of vigorous showy new growth. It also has red bark on young growth, so in winter you get a bonus. There is a hedge of this variety near us with only 6-8in of red new growth, whereas mine have 4-6ft that are red! I know which I prefer! Won't tolerate wet conditions, but isn’t fussy otherwise.

USES: A great ornamental shrub for a sunny focal point. It can also be used in summer bouquets and in basketry after drying.

Young foliage of the unique Dappled Willow

A hedge of ‘Hakuro Nishiki’ in a nearby town. Sadly the owner butchered this at the wrong time of year and there is nothing like this show left.

A detail of the above hedge.

A grafted standard of ‘Hakuro Nishiki’

in a New Jersey garden.



A large mature specimen of the Dappled Willow in the New Brunswick Botanic Garden, Edmunston.

That's S. alba v. sericea at left, the finest specimen I've seen in North America.

Mature pollarded 'Hakuro Nishiki' in wonderful gardens south of Burlington, Vermont.

Judging by the size of the trunks, these were top grafted on a much more vigorous willow.

The same mature specimen of the Dappled Willow in the New Brunswick Botanic Garden, Edmunston.

'Hakuro Nishiki' adding a splash of brightness on a terraced garden that Michael designed and supervised the construction of.

Winter stems of 'Hakuro Nishiki'

in the Chicago Botanic Garden.

'Hakuro Nishiki' in the nearest large town to us: St Albans VT. Showing what can happen to an untrimmed plant of this selection. Shot on a dark and dismal day in mid-October

A pair of standards showing the difference in the brightness of the leaves with less direct sun (closest).

Variegated Willows

All variegated willows need to be in full sun to be their brightest!

Not knowing this, I planted a Salix integra 'Flamingo' on the north side of our house. It grew green leaves, so I quickly moved it elsewhere into full sun and it returned to being variegated.

We went out of our way to obtain a variegated willow in Virginia, but when we grew them out they were green. I asked the owner of the plant about this and he said his plant was all green now! It was planted in deep shade. Unfortunately he may have been the only person to have this plant. It was Salix gracilistyla 'Variegata' and it was sold by Heronswood in Dan Hinkley's time there. If anyone has this plant and it is still variegated we will trade 5 cuttings each of any 5 willows in our list for 10 cuttings of this cultivar.

Variegated Willows:

Salix caprea 'Variegata' (heard of, but may be one of the two below)

Salix cinerea 'Tricolor' (white and pink speckles)

Salix cinerea 'Variegata' (green and white variegations)

Salix gracilistyla 'Variegata' (green and white variegations)

Salix variegata (S. bockii). Just obtained this plant, I can't see anything variegated about it! These taxonomists...

If anyone knows other variegated willows, I'd love to here about it!

Female catkins of 'Hakuro Nishiki'.


right: 'Hakuro Nishiki'

after severe coppicing, I swear the leaves were bleeding internally they are so red. Just kidding.

Tulsa OK, in the garden of the fabulous Philbrook Museum of Art.

Early March.


of Michael Dodge