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Salix purpurea 'Dark Dicks' (f)
  • RHS Plants for pollinators

A deciduous shrub, with slender upright stems that are reddish when young, and mature to dark purple-brown. Leaves are narrow, and dark green with a paler midrib, and slender green catkins, the male with purple anthers, in early and mid spring. This cultivar is often used for weaving and basketry

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Size
Ultimate height
4–8 metres
Time to ultimate height
10–20 years
Ultimate spread
2.5–4 metres
Growing conditions
Clay
Loam
Sand
Moisture
Moist but well–drained
pH
Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Colour & scent
StemFlowerFoliageFruit
Spring Red Green
Summer Red Green
Autumn Purple Brown Green Yellow
Winter Purple Brown
Position
  • Full sun
  • Partial shade
Aspect

East–facing or South–facing or West–facing

Exposure
Exposed or Sheltered
Hardiness
H6
Botanical details
Family
Salicaceae
Native to the UK
No
Foliage
Deciduous
Habit
Columnar upright
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

Name status

Accepted

How to grow

Cultivation

Thrives in deep, moisture retentive soil, ideally in full sun. Will tolerate some waterlogging, but dislikes shallow chalk

Propagation

Propagate by softwood or hardwood cuttings

Suggested planting locations and garden types
  • Cottage and informal garden
  • Wildlife gardens
  • Hedging and screens
Pruning

Pruning group 1 or pruning group 7

Pests

May be susceptible to aphids, caterpillars, gall mites, flea beetles, sawfly larvae, and willow scale

Diseases

May be susceptible to willow anthracnose, watermark disease, willow heart rot, rust diseases, crown gall, honey fungus, root rot, silver leaf, and tar spot

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