Bluestem Nurseryhardy field grown plants

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Salix (Willow) Stems at Bluestem Nursery

Salix (Willow)

Salix viminalis

Salix viminalis - Common Osier, Basket Willow
Salix viminalis - Common Osier

Salix viminalis - Common osier, Basket willow

Most basket-type willows are highly ornamental and the common osier is no exception. The three most frequently used willows for basketry are Salix purpurea, Salix triandra and Salix viminalis. When these three are interplanted in a border, the variety of stem colour in the winter garden rivals any other season.

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.

A good willow for butterflies and bees.

Description: large shrub or small tree; 3-6 m (10-20') tall; deep yellow to reddish brown new growth; numerous yellow catkins in early spring; highly ornamental

Conditions: full sun to part shade; thrives with regular deep watering; tolerates a wide variety of soil types; prune for utility.

Coldest zone: 3 (find your zone; further info on plant hardiness)


This picture was taken in October and is of a group of two year old plants that are coppiced in the late winter every year.

[pictures of S. viminalis]

Comparison of willow stems and leaves

Lists of various willow uses