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Salix caprea
  • RHS Plants for pollinators

goat willow

A large, spreading, rounded deciduous shrub or small tree to about 9m tall, with broadly elliptic, short-stalked green leaves, to 10cm long, greyish beneath, and silvery-grey catkins in spring, before the leaves, the males 4cm long, with golden anthers, the females to 7cm long are green

Other common names
florist's willow
great sallow
see moreKilmarnock willow
Northamptonshire palm
palm willow
pussy willow
sallow
sally
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Size
Ultimate height
8–12 metres
Time to ultimate height
10–20 years
Ultimate spread
4–8 metres
Growing conditions
Clay
Loam
Sand
Moisture
Moist but well–drained
pH
Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Colour & scent
StemFlowerFoliageFruit
Spring Grey Silver Gold Green Green Grey Silver
Summer Green Grey Silver
Autumn Green Grey Silver
Winter
Position
  • Full sun
Aspect

West–facing or East–facing or South–facing

Exposure
Exposed or Sheltered
Hardiness
H6
Botanical details
Family
Salicaceae
Native to the UK
Yes
Foliage
Deciduous
Habit
Bushy
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

Correct

Plant range
Europe to NE Asia

How to grow

Cultivation

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

Propagation

Propagate by softwood cuttings (greenwood) in early summer or hardwood cuttings in winter

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

Pruning group 1

Pests

May be susceptible to aphids, caterpillars, leaf beetles, sawflies, willow scale

Diseases

May be susceptible to willow anthracnose, scab, canker, honey fungus and rust

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