Salix myrsinifolia ‘Blackskin’

myrsinifolia = nigricans = myrsine-leaf willow

Blackskin Willow

Previously named S. glabra 'Blackskin' this is a choice 6-10ft ornamental shrub that I am now convinced is a selection of Salix myrsinifolia a native to the Eastern European Alps and the UK. ‘Blackskin’ is a selection with shiny black stems and attractive dark green foliage. This is a great willow for a modest garden as it remains compact. A female selection that makes a very attractive specimen in a garden. We coppice ours every year and recommend that for gardeners.

We have created a fedge with this variety beside our house so we can enjoy the attractive foliage in summer and shiny black stems in winter. Hardy Zone 4. Dried rod color: black

USES: ornamental shrub, outstanding in a winter garden especially when mixed with yellow-stemmed varieties; also use in fedges, borders, by pools or ponds; when coppiced it is a very useful basket willow as it keeps its black color when dried; provides great cut stems for winter displays.

The aptly named ‘Blackskin’ flouting its shiny black stems against

the golden stems of S. xfragilis ‘Basfordiana’ in late March.

Foliage in mid-summer, with the stipules at the base of the leaf petioles turning yellow

in contrast to the reddish stem that will turn black as the growing season winds down.  

A female catkin in mid-summer on the fedge by the shop/shipping room.

A diamond pattern Fedge planted in April 2012 and seen here in July.

For more information on fedges click here.



March 8ft, black and white at it's finest.

These are the blackest stems of all willows that we have met!

Both sides of an individual leaf that shows the contrast between the sides,

notice also the stipules clasping the stems at the base of the leaf petiole.

A late September intimate photo of a red flower bud in the axil of a leaf, with a pair of large stipules on either side of the stem. Note the red petiole of the leaf covered in short hairs, as is the tip of the bus.


of Michael Dodge