Salix smithiana

Salix smithiana - Silky-leaved Osier

Thought to be a natural hybrid of the goat willow or grey willow and the common osier, Salix x smithiana is a large, vigorous, deciduous shrub or small tree with an erect habit, often found along waterways. The young, reddish brown stems are covered with silky, downy hairs. The leaves are very long, narrow and grey-green, the typical willow-shape, and with paler undersides, covered in silky down. From late winter to spring, the bare branches are covered with beautiful, long, silvery-grey ‘pussies’, which turn a showy, fuzzy gold as the pollen develops. Silky-leaved osier is ideal for planting along a stream in a wild garden, and is good coppiced; the new stems are ideal for basket-making, or after two years, as sturdy bean-poles. Do not plant anywhere near drains or foundations.

Site: Tolerates exposure
Soil: Moist, even wet, soil, preferably acid to neutral
Position: Full sun or partial shade
Season of interest: Spring in particular
Hardiness: Very hardy
Height: 30’ (9m) Spread: up to 30’ (9m)

Type | Size: Bareroot | 2-3ft
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