Salix viminalis 'Bowhayes Strain A'

viminalis = of or belonging to osiers

Bowhayes is a tree nursery in England

Osier Willow

At last we've found an Osier we can grow successfully! All other attempts resulted in stunted plants loaded with every insect pest that can attack willows. This is a vigorous selection or hybrid of the Osier that grows long straight stems and used for hundreds of years in Europe for all kinds of different uses. It has been asked for by customers ever since we went on line with our nursery! I wrote to Bowhayes Trees in the UK to find out how it originated, but never received a reply; they sell wholesale willow and poplar selections and hybrids. Here is what we know from our experience: It is a female Osier that is very similar to S. viminalis in appearance with 6-8in long green leaves with silver undersides, downy stems and and a green-brown trunk in the first years. This is insect resistant and the species S. viminalis is not for us; so I'm guessing it's a hybrid, perhaps S. schwerinii is the other parent!

USES: A great ornamental tree where you want vertical accents or a row of trees to line a driveway that look like Lombardy Poplars, but without their disease problems! Also would make a dense hedge and as far as I know deer don't like it as I have never seen damage on it. Also it is the ultimate willow for coarse basketry and living willow structures.



Here's one of our original unpruned plants we received as cuttings in 2010, the rest have been coppiced!

This would make a really great specimen tree for a vertical accent!

The plant at lower right is Salix caprea 'Pendula' staked to create a weeping standard.

These are our coppiced plants in full flower in early May showing their long vertical habit.

This is an androgynous catkin, the "gap" in the swollen ovaries being an area where male flowers were produced! Bees have visited their stamens so they dried up and fell off! An ant is searching for nectar--they have a sweet tooth!

Clean, green foliage that flashes silver when the wind blows from the undersides of the leaves.

Here are some of our coppiced plants in the nursery.

These shoots are 8-10ft tall after one year's growth--hybrid vigour at work.

Female catkins with swollen ovaries.

Below are female catkins in various

stages of development.

Below are male catkins with their pollen at its peak.


of Michael Dodge