Salix nipponica

nipponica = Japanese  

Japanese Willow

I received this glorious species as Salix koreensis; however, according to the Flora of China, it is not this species. I learned from Dr. Irina Belyaeva that it is Salix nipponica— quite a different species. It has some of the most beautiful foliage I've ever seen on a willow and rarely see any blemishes on the leaves. I am certain that this will make a really special specimen tree; however, if coppiced, you'll be able to enjoy the foliage in all it's beauty. The leaves are very thin, almost transluscent; perfectly smooth on top and whitish underneath. New leaves start out red, and gradually turn green. Stems are a lovely lime green, but usually covered with a white waxy bloom that easily rubs off. We saw catkins for the first time in Spring 2016 and it's a guy! We received this April 2015, but already the plants are about 10ft tall. It was part of a group of Korean species and hybrids developed for biofuels that I received in trade from Dr. Larry Smart at Cornell University! The rest of this group is already showing great promise, but this one really stood out!

USES: Probably good for biofuels, but I for one couldn't burn this—it's too beautiful! I think it will make a really outstanding specimen plant. Probably too twiggy for basketry.



Here are flower buds developing in late summer. The only location on the plant that is hairy.

At right there are remains of stipules at the base of the petioles.

The white bloom is still present at left as are the new flower buds.

At right the underside of the leaves are bluish green.

At left the green stipules are shown against the white stem.

At right a flower bud is developing; green at first, later turns red. Late September.

New leaves have a wonderful shade of red, but turn clean green in a week or two.

Male flower spikes appear on short leafy stalks in mid-May.

Flower buds bursting to allow the flower spikes to appear. Mid April.

New growth is still red in late September.

That's one of our deer-fence posts to the right; annoying, but necessary.

The undersides of the leaves are grayish-green, edges of the leaves serrated. Late September

Lovely clean foliage with a prominent white midrib on the upper side of the leaf.

Paper thin leaves are just delightful.

Fringed buds in early April.


of Michael Dodge