Salix schwerinii

schwerinii = Fritz Kurt Alexander von Schwerin

(1847–1925)  German Botanist

Schwerin’s Willow

kinuyanagi – Japanese translation

sometimes incorrectly listed as Salix kinuyanagi

Salix schwerinii is a species of willow native to northeastern Asia--China, Japan and Russia. It is a shrub or a tree 30-50ft high with long and exceptionally narrow leaves, similar to S. viminalis in appearance, but a much better willow for most of the USA. It is an extremely vigorous grower, usually with long, strong upright, largely unbranched stems. For us it will grow 12-16ft reliably the same season it’s coppiced! This is a natural for living structures and biomass. It has been crossed extensively with S. viminalis to produce even more vigorous willows for biomass. Schwerinii is also one of the first willows to flower--late February for us, January in milder climates. The flowers are relatively small but produced in great quantities on dark brown, shiny stems and the younger fuzzy stems. Leaves are long and narrow, bright green above and silver-gray beneath; striking, especially when wind blown. Turns yellow in autumn. Hardy to USDA Zone 3 (?) Dried rod color: red-brown, green base

USES: large, free flowering tree; cut stems; ornamental tree; coarse basketry and living structures (one of the best); biomass.

NB: I saw a weeping form of Salix schwerinii ('Pendula') in Finland 2017, unfortunatly I could not bring cuttings back with me!

A nursery row of Salix schwerinii showing long straight rods.

Silver pussies are produced in great abundance on the long brown downy stems. (internet photo)

below: Salix schwerinii produces upright stems dotted with flowers early in the year.



Schwerinii is one of the most vigorous Willows we grow. It never has a bad year for rod production!

Produces masses of little flowers that are not too showy. Someone ought to hybridize this with a showier variety!

Long narrow green leaves that are silver underneath. The plant at left is not wilting, that's just the way the young growth starts. Stems are downy gray at first, later brown.

The long narrow foliage is most attractive and silver underneath!

Schwerinii blossoms so early that the opening buds are sometimes frozen and do not develop into full sized female catkins. 2105 was an exception! Mid-May.

In Autumn the long leaves turn golden yellow and make quite a show in mid-October.

Super-vigorous growth and the first willow to produce vegetative growth in the spring.

Most years it produces 12-15ft rods.

Mid-June and the leaves are expanding quickly, dark green on top and with silver hairs underneath.

The edges of the leaves are slightly rolled down. Shown on 1/4in graph paper for scale.

Salix schwerinii is one of the strongest growing willows in our collection.

These stems are 12-14ft tall. Dazzles in late October.


of Michael Dodge