Bluestem Nurseryhardy field grown plants

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Salix (Willow) Stems at Bluestem Nursery

Salix (Willow)

Salix matsudana 'Tortuosa'

Salix matsudana 'Tortuosa'
Formerly: Salix babylonica var. pekinensis
Curly Willow, Corkscrew Willow, Peking Willow

Salix matsudana 'Tortuosa'

Common names: Curly, Corkscrew, Peking willow

There are many varieties of the larger Peking willow. We also have S. matsudana 'Golden Curls' (formerly listed as S. babylonica var pekinensis). These two are virtually identical other than that Golden Curls has reddish yellow new growth and Tortuosa has dark bronze.

This is a smaller clone preferred by the Japanese for flower arrangements, where it is used both fresh and dried. In colder climates, it is not as prone to die back, thus preserving the twisted golden branches. Highly ornamental and non-invasive, Tortuosa can be used in smaller areas. Nonetheless, one would wise to keep it well away from septic fields, which is the case with any tree.

Suitable for seaside conditions.

S. matsudana ' Tortuosa' will grow to a height of 15 - 20' in just 3 to 4 seasons, then slow down and fill out, eventually reaching around 30' after 8 to 10 years.

There are two ways to grow this plant - pruned or left to grow to its natural form. Read our page about pruning willows to find out more about coppicing and the resulting different plant form with an emphasis on colorful stems for winter interest.

Description: small tree; 6-9 m (20-30'); contorted dark bronze new growth; outstanding ornamental throughout the year

Conditions: full sun to part shade; thrives in poor soil; drought tolerant; prune for desired effect.

Coldest zone: 4 (find your zone; further info on plant hardiness)

Comparison of willow stems and leaves

Lists of various willow uses