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Salix viminalis

common osier

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

Other common names
augers
basket willow
see morecommon withy
hemp willow
velvet osier

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Size
Ultimate height
4–8 metres
Time to ultimate height
2–5 years
Ultimate spread
2.5–4 metres
Growing conditions
Clay
Loam
Sand
Moisture
Moist but well–drained
pH
Acid, Neutral
Colour & scent
StemFlowerFoliageFruit
Spring Green
Summer Green
Autumn
Winter Green
Position
  • Full sun
Aspect

South–facing

Exposure
Exposed or Sheltered
Hardiness
H7
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
Eurasia

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
  • Cottage and informal garden
  • Coastal
  • Flower borders and beds
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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