Salix xpendulina f. erythroflexuosa ‘Swizzle Sticks’
pendulina = babylonica x fragilis
erythroflexuosa = babylonica f. tortuosa X xpendulina f. salamonii 'Chrysocoma'
Swizzle Stick Curly Willow
This curly willow with such a great name is a selection found by Darrell Probst on the CT/NY border in 1987 and given to me by Allen Bush (how’s that for horticultural name dropping?) Darrell told me that he has found numerous curly willows in the wild, obviously seedlings that may involve other species, but not confirmed. It came to me as S. alba ‘Swizzle Sticks’; but only S. babylonica produces curly stems (from a single gene) and 'SS' lacks the hairiness and glaucous undersides of White Willow leaves. 'SS' has a lacy appearance with pale yellow-green stems and fresh-looking pale green leaves throughout the summer except in wet periods where the foliage turns black with a fungal disease. Stems are a pale yellowish green, when new and reddish orange when mature. They seem to writhe in ecstasy! Hardy to USDA Zone 5.
USES: As a delightful specimen plant, cut stems in bouquets year round, unique plant support sticks and as a very special hedge.
'Swizzle Sticks' in a residential area clearly showing it's upright habit and curly stems.
Photo courtesy of Gary Koller
Delicate curly foliage and pale yellowish green twigs.
Shown on 1in graph paper.
The Wonderful World of Willows
Vermont Willow Nursery
'Swizzle Sticks' used as a hedge to provide shade for plants that require low light conditions
Photo courtesy of the now closed Loomis Creek Nursery in NY State