Not the plant you're looking for? Search over 300,000 plants

Salix purpurea

purple willow

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

Other common names
bitter willow
purple osier
see morebasket willow [2]
Synonyms
Salix purpurea 'Helix'

Unlimited days out

Individual RHS membership from £47.25

Complete now
Buy this plant
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, Poorly–drained
pH
Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Colour & scent
StemFlowerFoliageFruit
Spring Grey Silver Blue Green
Summer Blue Green Green
Autumn Blue Green
Winter
Position
  • Full sun
Aspect

South–facing or North–facing or West–facing or East–facing

Exposure
Exposed or Sheltered
Hardiness
H6
Botanical details
Family
Salicaceae
Native to the UK
Yes
Foliage
Deciduous
Habit
Spreading branched
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, C. Asia

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
  • Coastal
  • Wildlife gardens
  • Low Maintenance
  • Hedging and screens
Pruning

Pruning group 1

Pests

Can get aphids, caterpillars, leaf beetles and sawflies

Diseases

May be subject to willow anthracnose diseases and a rust

My Garden

Your free RHS gardening coach

Keep track of your plants with reminders & care tips – all to help you grow successfully

My plants
My calendar

My plants

My calendar

My ideas
Manage membership

My ideas

My advice

Get involved

The Royal Horticultural Society is the UK’s leading gardening charity. We aim to enrich everyone’s life through plants, and make the UK a greener and more beautiful place.