• AGM plants

    AGM plants have been through a rigorous trial and assessment programme. They are:

    • Excellent for ordinary use in appropriate conditions
    • Available to buy
    • Of good constitution
    • Essentially stable in form & colour
    • Reasonably resistant to pests & diseases

Salix viminalis

common osier

common osier

© RHS

  • Other common names common osier
    augers

    basket willow
    common withy
    hemp willow
    velvet osier

    see more
  • Family Salicaceae

  • Genus Salix are deciduous shrubs and trees of diverse habit, with simple leaves and tiny flowers in catkins, male and female usually on separate plants. Some are valued for their brightly coloured winter shoots, others for their foliage or showy male catkins

  • Details S. viminalis is a fast-growing large shrub or small tree to 6m tall, with shiny greenish-yellow young shoots and narrow leaves that are silver-hairy beneath; slender greenish catkins open before the leaves, in late winter

  • Plant range Eurasia

Characteristics

  • Foliage Deciduous

  • Habit Bushy

  • Hardiness

    Hardiness ratings

    All ratings refer to the UK growing conditions unless otherwise stated. Minimum temperature ranges (in degrees C) are shown in brackets

    • H1a - Under glass all year (>15C)
    • H1b - Can be grown outside in the summer (10 - 15)
    • H1c - Can be grown outside in the summer (5 - 10)
    • H2 - Tolerant of low temperatures, but not surviving being frozen (1 to 5)
    • H3 - Hardy in coastal and relatively mild parts of the UK (-5 to 1)
    • H4 - Hardy through most of the UK (-10 to -5)
    • H5 - Hardy in most places throughout the UK even in severe winters (-15 to -10)
    • H6 - Hardy in all of UK and northern Europe (-20 to -15)
    • H7 - Hardy in the severest European continental climates (< -20)

    H7

Colour

Sunlight

  • Full Sun

  • Aspect South-facing

  • Exposure Exposed or Sheltered

Soil

  • Loam

    Loam

  • Clay

    Clay

  • Sand

    Sand

  • MoistureMoist but well-drained

  • SoilLoam, Clay, Sand

  • pHAcid, Neutral

Size

  • Ultimate height 4-8 metres

  • Ultimate spread 2.5-4 metres

  • Time to ultimate height 2-5 years

How to grow

Cultivation Grows in most moist soils except those that are alkaline. A position in full sun is ideal

Propagation Propagate by greenwood cuttings or by hardwood cuttings in winter

Suggested planting locations and garden types Flower borders and beds Coastal Cottage & Informal Garden

How to care

Pruning Pruning group 1

Pests Aphids and caterpillars can be problematic

Diseases Willow anthracnose, scab, a canker and a rust may cause problems

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