Salix x pendulina f. salamonii ‘Chrysocoma’

salamonii = after Salmon

chrysocoma = golden

Golden Weeping Willow

This hybrid is considered the most beautiful of all weeping willows and the most frequently seen in North America and Europe. It is a cross between Salix alba f. vitellina and S. babylonica and originated on the estate of Baron de Salamon near Manosque, France some time before 1869 when it was first put on the market by Simon-Louise of Metz. A few years later the golden selection was first made available by Späth (Berlin, Germany) in 1888 and was named 'Chrysocoma' by Dode in 1908.  It combines the hardiness and egg-yellow stem color of one parent, Salix alba f. vitellina, with the weeping habit of S. babylonica. It is often sold as S. alba 'Tristis’ but this is an invalid name as it is a hybrid and therefore cannot be named Salix alba anything! Almost all large weeping willows contain Salix babylonica genes as this is one of the only willow trees with genes for weeping!  Salix babylonica is hardy in Zones 7-12

The Golden Weeping Willow is a vigorous tree that can grow 8-10ft a year and eventually reach a height of 60ft if left unpruned. Unfortunately, as the tree ages it starts shedding it's lower branches. This gives the Weeping Willow a bad rap; however, this is due to bad management by the owners of such trees. We top ours at about 20ft and regularly cut back side branches to keep the tree looking young. One tree we pollard every 2 years (see below) so it doesn’t block the view of our Winter Garden. Prefers full sun and average to wet soils, but it will even grow in sandy soils and the Tropics! As for all vigorous trees, don’t plant near drainage pipes. Hardy to USDA Zone 3.

USES: A wonderful ornamental tree that looks handsome year-round; looks great by water. Makes a great children’s hideaway as the branches dense enough to hide in.

Weeping Willows are probably the most frequently-planted willows in the world.

left: In our Winter Garden             right: In our garden at Daffodil time with Rhododendron ‘Cornell Pink’.

below: Weeping Willow with our Nova Scotia Duck-Tolling Retrievers, Lily and River among young Tulips.

The horizontal lines are our electric and telephone feeds, the power company wanted $12,000 to bury it!

We didn't bother to ask the phone company!

Nov 10, 2016. Golden Weeping Willows, with golden leaves in golden evening light!

April 8, 2015. In winter the Golden Weeping Willow still struts its stuff, whether snow covered or with golden-yellow branches against a brilliant blue sky.

The ideal location for Weeping Willows is by a pond.

Here seen in Nova Scotia in the Summer of 2012 at the lovely Luckett Vineyard, Wolfville.



In spring the Golden Weeping Willow struts its stuff with so many flowers they look like  Acacias! Here in our Winter Garden with Blue Spruce, red and yellow stemmed Dogwoods.

Foliage is typical of weeping willow and displayed on golden stems.

Weeping willows are unusual in that both male and female catkins may appear on the same plant (most willows have male and female catkins on different plants--i.e. dioecious).

In 2013 and 2015 our plants were so covered with yellow male catkins that they looked like acacia trees and were filled with bees and other pollinators. Early May.

The golden moment of the Golden Weeping Willow!

No other tree presents a display like this!

Here seen at the Chicago Botanic Garden.

Got to love standing under a Weeping Willow!

Again at the Chicago Botanic Garden in early April.

Even the trunks of Weeping Willows are interesting!

Again at the Chicago Botanic Garden.

That Golden Moment in early May when Golden Weeping Willow is in full flower!

There is simply nothing more beautiful!

This is a 300 year-old specimen of Salix x pendulina in Grand Pre, Nova Scotia. August.

The age is known, because this is the site where a wooden church was burnt to the ground by British and New England militia when they cleared Acadian Settlers (circa 1750) from the region to grab their very fertile farmland. It was written about at the time and there is mention of willow trees around this church.

The Acadian families were split up: men were sent to Haiti, women and children to Louisana.

A rather nasty example of ethnic cleansing.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow based his epic poem 'Evangeline' on this expulsion, but changed the historical account, by not mentioning the New Englander's role in this horrendous event.

If you are ever in Nova Scotia, this historic site is certainly worth a visit.

I believe these are the oldest willow trees I have ever had the pleasure of meeting.

Couldn't hug them, they were too huge in girth (~27ft)

I picked up some fallen twigs, took them home and 'low and behold' they rooted after 10 days in the car!

These trees want to survive! So if you are looking for a tree that will live for 300 years, here it is.

We'll offer it in a year or two, when I have enough cuttings! It is known as the Green Weeping Willow.

I believe these are more specimens of Salix x pendulina, this time in Taos, New Mexico.

The tree below is 110ft tall; it is listed by American Forests as the largest specimen of Salix goodingii, which it is not. I grow Salix gooddingii from cuttings from Southern New Mexico, so I had something with which to compare the Taos tree. March photos.

These specimens have had their lower branches removed to give more room in the yard.

Salix x pendulina  Green Weeping Willow

Salix babylonica x Salix euxina


of Michael Dodge