Purple basket willow

Tree & Plant Care

A large upright to oval shrub reaching 8 to10 feet high.
Suckering stems forms large colonies. Over grown shrubs should be cut to the ground to start over.
Best in moist to wet soils in full sun.
Adapts to poor soil pH, dry soil and drought once established.

Disease, pests, and problems

Intolerant of salt spray, stem canker, leaf spots, and mildew

Disease, pest, and problem resistance

Tolerant of wet soils

Native geographic location and habitat

Europe, northern Africa, Asia and Japan

Bark color and texture

Very thin, narrow stems are purplish on upperside of stem and green on underside of stem.
Older stems are light gray.
Young, flexible stems are used for basket weaving.

Leaf or needle arrangement, size, shape, and texture

Alternate, occasionally opposite. Simple, 2 to 4 inches long, linear leaves with serrated leaf tips.
Dark blue-green, glaucous beneath.

Flower arrangement, shape, and size

Narrow, cylindrical catkins appear before the leaves in early spring.

Fruit, cone, nut, and seed descriptions

A loose, open capsule that splits open to release tiny seeds on white fluff (pappi).

Cultivars and their differences

Dwarf basket willow (Salix purpurea ‘Gracilis’): Grows 6 feet high and wide with blue-green leaves and slender twigs.

Dwarf Artic Willow (Salix purpurea ‘Nana’): Striking blue-green leaves and compact habit reaching 4 to 5 feet high.


INTER S. interior (Sandbank Willow) Native

use only for bank restoration for streams, rivers and lakes.

spreads from shoots developing along the roots, makes great long slender rods

INTSF S. interior ‘Filigree’ (Filigree Sandbar Willow) Native

a very fine-leafed version I found by a path in Tennessee. It too spreads!

INTxER S. interior x eriocephala (Hybrid Native Willow)

this hybrid was created to plant on coal waste heaps to absorb poisonous chemicals

it’s also a neat ornamental plant to boot! This is a non-spreading hybrid.

IRROR S. irrorata (Blue-stem Willow) Native

showy powdery white winter stems, cut stems, basketry

IRRVB S. irrorata ‘Violet Beauty’ Native

violet stems turning white, red flower buds

KOREE S. koreensis (Korean Willow) New in 2018

a handsome tree with lovely leaves and bark; basketry?

KORHA S. koreensis ‘Hakuro’ (Yellowleaf Korean Willow) NAME CHANGE!

early pale yellow leaves, hedges, specimen plant

KORIY S. koriyanagi (Korean Willow)

clouds of gray catkins in late Winter, great for fine basketry

KORRU S. koriyanagi ‘Rubykins’ (Rubykins Willow)

slender cut stems, living structures, basketry

LICWH S. x ‘Licorice Whip’ N/A 2020

cut stems, small living structures, basketry

LUCID S. lucida (Shiny Willow) Native

glossy leaves, can grow in very wet places, living structures, basketry

MEYER S. x meyeriana (pentandra x fragilis) (Hybrid Bay or Laurel Willow)

a hybrid willow with very large, very shiny leaves, naturalized in N. America

MEYPL S. x meyeriana ‘Patent Lumley’ (Hybrid Bay Willow selection)

glossy leaves, a USDA selection of thus vigorous hybrid, living structures

MEYSL S. x meyeriana ‘Silver Lake’ (Prairie Reflection® Laurel Willow) Patented!

Developed at the North Dakota USDA office for hardiness and beauty

MIYAB S. miyabeana (Japanese Willow)

very vigorous grower–our fastest/tallest growing variety, bright green stems

living structures, biomass

MIYAS S. miyabeana Arnold Select (Arnold Arboretum) Japanese Willow

this vigorous male selection is unusual in that it has dark stems after coppicing

MIYSX64 S. miyabeana SX64 (Japanese Willow)

a very attractive large shrub in all seasons, colorful in winter,

showy male catkins in very early spring and attractive foliage all summer

WINGR S. miyabeana ‘Winter Green’

long straight rods, one of the best for living structures, brilliant green in winter

MYRIC S. myricoides (Blue-leaf Willow, Bayberry Willow) Native

a native willow that makes a delightful specimen shrub

MYRICB S. myricoides ‘Bronze Beauty’ Native New in 2018

a selection this native willow with bronze new growth

MYRGR S. myrsinifolia (Green Myrsine-leaf Willow)

a compact shrub with small, almost round leaves

MYRBL S. myrsinifolia ‘Blackskin’ (Blackskin Willow)

attributes: living structures, basketry, one of the blackest of all willows

NIGRA S. nigra (Black Willow) Native

one the largest North American willows, biomass, firewood, river-bank restoration.

NIPPO S. nipponica (Japanese Willow)

an exquisitely beautiful species with elegant leaves and white stems

PELLIT S. pellita (Satin Willow) Native

a vigorous growing shrub with long wide leaves that are silvery white underneath.

PENBL S. x pendulina f. pendulina ‘Blanda’ Thurlow or Green Weeping Willow name change

an all green weeping willow, with long elegant tresses down to the ground

ERYTH S. xpendulina f.Erythroflexuosa (Red Curly Willow)

great long-lasting red cut stems, exceptionally ornamental tree, unique parentage

BABCA S. xpendulina f. Erythroflexuosa ‘Caradoc’ (Yellow Curly Willow) name change

yellow-orange curly stems, upright specimen tree name change

BABGC S. xpendulina f. Erythroflexuosa ‘Golden Curls’ (Golden Curly Willow) name change

A weeping form of Curly Willow, great specimen, especially by water. name change

BABST S. xpendulina f. Erythroflexuosa ‘Sunny Twist’ (Sunny Twist Curly Willow) name change

honey-colored, upright curly willow hybridized at SUNY, Syracuse.

BABSS S. xpendulina f. erythroflexuosa ‘Swizzle Sticks’ (Curly Willow) name change

Dropped. Too disease prone in the Northeast!!

PESCH S. x pendulina f salamonii ‘Chrysocoma’ (Golden Weeping Willow) name change

the most common golden weeping willow, basketry

PRACA S. x pendulina ‘Prairie Cascade’ Prairie Cascade Willow (pentandra X x pendulina )

Dropped. Too disease prone in the Northeast!!

PETIO S. petiolaris (Slender or Meadow Willow) Native

native willow that provides grazing for deer and beavers, rods for weaving

PIEROT S. pierotii (White Willow)

an ornamental tree from East Asia with whitish bark that flakes as it matures

PINKDE S. ‘Pink Delight’ (‘Americana’ x eleagnos v. angustifolia) (Hybrid Willow)

A new hybrid with characteristics of both parents; good for basketry

PURPUR S. purpurea (Purple Willow)

This is a male selection of the wild Purple Willow from Europe.

PU187 S. purpurea #187 (Purple Willow)

deer resistant, living structures, fine basketry

PURBL S. purpurea ‘Bleu’ (aka ‘Purple Dicks’)

living structures, fine basketry, the most beautiful purpurea variety of all!

PURDD S. purpurea ‘Dark Dicks’ (Purple Willow)

deer resistant, living structures, fine basketry

PURDM S. purpurea ‘Dicky Meadows’

deer resistant, living structures, fine basketry

PUREUG S. purpurea ‘Eugene’

deer resistant, living structures, fine basketry

PURFC S. purpurea ‘Fish Creek’ Patented!

The most vigorous purpurea ever developed; biofuels, structures.

PURGO S. purpurea ‘Goldstones’

deer resistant, living structures, fine basketry, bright green stems dried.

PURGR S. purpurea ‘Gracilis’ (‘Nana’) (Arctic or Dwarf Purple Willow)

attractive dwarf shrub, deer resistant, small structures, fine basketry

PURGD S. purpurea ‘Green Dicks’

deer resistant, living structures, fine basketry

PURHOL S. purpurea ‘Holland’ selected in New Zealand from plants from the Netherlands

another vigorous variety, developed for biofuel and soil erosion.

PURIR S. purpurea ‘Irette’

deer resistant, living structures, fine basketry

PURJA S. purpurea ‘Jagiellonka’

this is a Polish selection known for its vigorous growth and long staright stems.

PURLAM S. purpurea ‘Lambertiana’

We discovered that cuttings we took several years ago from the Arnold

Arboretum several years ago as Salix purpurea was actually this selection!!!

This is the most disease resistant Salix purpurea we grow.

PURLED S. purpurea ‘Leicestershire Dicks’

A bushy selection with fine dark red twigs, exceptional when poking out of snow

PURLD S. purpurea ‘Light Dicks’

Paler stems than the species in their second year. Great basketry willow.

PURMU S. purpurea ‘Multinervis’

deer resistant, living structures, fine basketry

PURNS S. purpurea ‘Nancy Saunders’

Very fine branches with red twigs, deer resistant, living structures, fine basketry.

PUROK S. purpurea ‘Oka’

deer resistant, small living structures, fine basketry

PURPT S. purpurea ‘Packing Twine’

perhaps the best willow for fine basketry, very slender rods, deer resistant

PURPE S. purpurea ‘Pendula’ (Weeping purple Willow)

deer resistant, one of the best small weeping trees

PURPD S. purpurea ‘Purple Dicks’ see S. purpurea ‘Bleu’

PURSE S. purpurea var. sericea (Silky Purple Willow)

a compact growing shrub, makes a great hedge to keep deer out

PURST S. purpurea ‘Streamco’

stream-bank restoration, deer resistant, fine basketry

PURVR S. purpurea ‘Vermont Red’

A selection from the USDA that we named for its dark red stems and young twigs

PUXKO S. purpurea x koriyanagi Patented!

East meets West in this vigorous, virtually pest free hybrid.

PUXMI S. purpurea x miyabeana ‘Millbrook! Patented!

this superb hybrid has the vigour of S. miyabeana and the deer resistance of S. purpurea.

PYRIF S. pyrifolia (Balsam Willow) Native

a choice native willow with showy foliage and abundant flowers

RABFT S. ‘Rabbit’s Foot’ (Rabbit’s Foot Willow)

This selection of ‘Winter Glory’ has male catkins that look like Rabbit’s Feet!

Found by Julia Kuzovkina at Klyn’s Nursery in Ohio; Klyn’s kindly shared cuttings!

REINI S. reinii Reins Willow

compact growing shrub, great for a small garden, rock garden in very lean soil.

REPAR S. repens ‘Arenaria’ (Silver Creeping Willow)

rock gardens, front of mixed borders, containers

RORID S. rorida (Pink Willow for the pink buds in Autumn)

a very ornamental selection with very long-lasting male flowers, yellow fall color

RBRHA S. x rubra ‘Harrisons’

structures, coarse basketry

RBRHB S. x rubra ‘Harrisons B’

structures, fine basketry

SCHWE S. schwerinii (Schwerin’s Willow)

one of the best for living structures, coarse basketry, biomass,

consistently produces very long rods.

SERICEA S. sericea (Silky Willow) Native

native willow, good grower in wet areas, upright grower

SERISS S. serissima (Autumn Willow) Native

a native willow with glossy leaves and female flowers that open in Autumn!

SMITH S. x smithiana (caprea x viminalis) Smith’s Willow

living structures, coarse basketry, cut stems in late winter, biofuels

SUCHO S. suchowensis (Suchow Willow)

A great willow for living structures with longer slender rods.

TENUI S. tenuijulis (Narrow-catkin willow)

long slender rods, for small structures and probably great for basketry

THAGUE S. ‘The Hague’ (gracilistyla x caprea)

cut stems with large flowers, living structures, female clone

TRIBH S. triandra ‘Black Hollander’ N/A 2020

living structures, fine basketry, showy male flowers

TRIBM S. triandra ‘Black Maul’ (Almond Willow)

basketry, living structures

TRIBG S. triandra ‘Black Maul’ x ‘Grisette Noir’ N/A 2020

living structures, fine basketry

TRINV S. triandra ‘Noir de Villaines’ N/A 2020

living structures, fine basketry

TRIWH S. triandra ‘Whissender’

living structures, coarse basketry, abundant male flowers

UDENS S. udensis Uden Willow (Siberia) Forms an upright bush that is 6ft high in its 2nd year.

New for 2019

UDESE S. udensis ‘Sekka’ (Dragon-tail Willow)

cut stems for Ikebana flower arrangements, prolific flower producer.

VIMBA S. viminalis ‘Bowhayes Strain A’ (Osier Willow)

we finally have Osiers that grow well for us! Great for structures and fences.

VIMBM S. viminalis ‘Bowhayes Strain male (Osier Willow)

This is a male selection of Strain A

VIMBOW S. viminalis ‘Bowles Hybrid’ (Hybrid Osier Willow)

this hybrid produces the heaviest, strongest rods of all our varieties

WINGL S. ‘Winter Glory’ (gracilistyla x caprea) (Giant Pussy Willow)

formerly erroneously called S. chaenomeloides

abundant male flowers, cut stems, living structures, coarse basketry, deer resistant,

probably the best all purpose willow we offer.

Blue Arctic Willow, Purpleosier, Purple Osier, Purple Willow ‘Gracilis’




Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Requires consistently moist soil; do not let dry out between waterings

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun


Grown for foliage


Provides Winter Interest

Foliage Color:

Unknown – Tell us


4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)

6-8 ft. (1.8-2.4 m)


4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)

6-8 ft. (1.8-2.4 m)


USDA Zone 3a: to -39.9 °C (-40 °F)

USDA Zone 3b: to -37.2 °C (-35 °F)

USDA Zone 4a: to -34.4 °C (-30 °F)

USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 °C (-25 °F)

USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 °C (-20 °F)

USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 °C (-15 °F)

USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 °C (-10 °F)

USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 °C (-5 °F)

USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 °C (0 °F)

USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 °C (5 °F)

Where to Grow:

Unknown – Tell us


Unknown – Tell us

Bloom Color:


Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown – Tell us

Bloom Size:

Unknown – Tell us

Bloom Time:

Late Winter/Early Spring

Mid Spring

Other details:

Unknown – Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

5.1 to 5.5 (strongly acidic)

5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:

Unknown – Tell us

Propagation Methods:

Unknown – Tell us

Seed Collecting:

Unknown – Tell us


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Bellevue, Washington

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *