• 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 purpurea

purple osier

purple osier

© RHS 2003

  • Other common names purple osier
    purple willow

    bitter willow
    basket willow

    see more
  • Synonyms Salix purpurea 'Helix'

  • 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. purpurea is a spreading shrub or small tree to 5m, with arching purplish shoots bearing narrowly oblong, blue-green leaves and slender silvery catkins on bare shoots in early spring

  • Plant range Europe, C. Asia

Characteristics

  • Foliage Deciduous

  • Habit Spreading / Branched

  • 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)

    H6

Colour

Sunlight

  • Full Sun

  • Aspect South-facing or North-facing or West-facing or East-facing

  • Exposure Exposed or Sheltered

Soil

  • Loam

    Loam

  • Clay

    Clay

  • Sand

    Sand

  • MoistureMoist but well-drained, Poorly-drained

  • SoilLoam, Clay, Sand

  • pHAcid, Alkaline, Neutral

Size

  • Ultimate height 4-8 metres

  • Ultimate spread 2.5-4 metres

  • Time to ultimate height 10-20 years

How to grow

Cultivation Grow in any deep moist well-drained soil in full sun. Dislikes shallow chalk soils

Propagation Propagate by softwood or hardwood cuttings

Suggested planting locations and garden types Low Maintenance Hedging & Screens Coastal Wildlife Gardens

How to care

Pruning Pruning group 1

Pests Can get aphids, caterpillars, leaf beetles and sawflies

Diseases May be subject to willow anthracnose diseases and a rust

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