Salix x pendulina f. pendulina 'Blanda'
pendulina = pendulous blanda = alluring
Thurlow, Green or Wisconsin Weeping Willow
A female weeping hybrid selection with more spreading branches than 'Elegantissima' or
Salix ×salamonii 'Chrysocoma' and with more silvery underside of the leaves. One of the most widely grown weeping willows, especially in North America where it is known as the “Thurlow Weeping Willow” and often mistakenly listed as S. babylonica or 'Tristis'. This is an old artificial cross thought to have originated in Germany about 1831. The branches grey-green; branchlets are brittle and pendulous down to the ground. It is a female clone usually, but our plants are androgynous (where both male and female reproductive organs are found in the same catkin). Our plants came as cuttings from the great folk at the impressive Holden Arboretum in Ohio. Mature trees have rough bark and gnarly shapes reminiscent of "Whomping Willows". The pendant foliage is light green at first, darkening later with glaucous (blue-gray) undersides—a simple distinguishing feature. In autumn flower buds develop; one description calls them “horny-tipped” buds. Well developed stipules appear in spring and are shed late in autumn.
It was first described by Andersson in 1867 as a specimen collected in a garden in Hessen, Germany, and later put into commerce by Späth of Berlin (Clarke, 1980). However, I believe this tree may have been around much longer! Hardy to Zone 3.
USES: A highly ornamental tree often with twisted deeply furrowed trunks and handsome leaves that flash white when the wind blows showing the undersides.
Two-year plants in the nursery. The white undersides of the leaves distinguish this selection from S. x blanda 'Elegantissima'. These will have to be moved soon as they are getting too large. This shows the spreading nature of this selection that covers half the path between two nursery blocks!
They do "whomp" when you walk under them on a windy day, worse when it's raining also!
"Horny tipped" flower buds appear in Autumn on bright red twigs. Veined stipules adorn the nodes beside the leaf petioles.
When allowed, branches will caress the ground and clearly display the flashing undersides of the leaves.
Above: an all male catkin
At left: an all female catkin
Below a mix of part male and part female catkin
These four photographs were taken at the same time from the same tree (top right) in Mid-May 2016
Plants do it...
These are our two stock plants from cuttings taken from the delightful Holden Arboretum in Ohio.
I was given permission to take cuttings in return for identifying the willows on their extensive grounds.
of Michael Dodge