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Salix gracilistyla 'Melanostachys' (Black willow)

Beginner
skill rating
1 hour care
per year
3m
Max height
3m
Max spread
20-50 years
To maturity

Plant details

Botanical name

Salix gracilistyla 'Melanostachys'

Other names

Black willow, Black pussy willow, Salix gracilistyla var. melanostachys, Salix melanostachys

Genus

Salix Salix

Variety or Cultivar

'Melanostachys' _ 'Melanostachys' is an upright, multi-stemmed, deciduous, male shrub with arching shoots, silky-hairy when young and red in winter, and oval, silky-hairy, grey-green leaves that turn glossy green with maturity. Purple-black catkins with bright, orange-red anthers are produced in early and mid-spring before the leaves unfurl.


Salix gracilistyla 'Melanostachys' is: Deciduous

Tree shape

Rounded

Flower

Black, Flushed purple in Spring

Foliage

Green in Summer

How to care

Watch out for

Specific pests

Aphids , Caterpillars , Leaf beetles (willow and poplar) , Sawflies Aphids , Caterpillars , Leaf beetles (willow and poplar) , Sawflies

Anthracnose diseases , Rust Anthracnose diseases , Rust

General care

Pruning

Can be pollarded every 3-4 years.

Propagation methods

Hardwood cuttings, Softwood cuttings


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Where to grow

Salix gracilistyla 'Melanostachys' (Black willow) will reach a height of 3m and a spread of 3m after 20-50 years.

Suggested uses

Coastal, Hedging/Screens, Low Maintenance, Wildlife

Cultivation

Plant in moist but well-drained or well-drained soil in full sun. Dislikes shallow chalk soil.

Soil type

Clay, Loamy, Sandy

Soil drainage

Moist but well-drained, Moisture-retentive

Soil pH

Acid, Alkaline, Neutral

Light

Full Sun

Aspect

North, South, East, West

Exposure

Exposed, Sheltered

UK hardiness Note: We are working to update our ratings. Thanks for your patience.

Hardy (H4)

Companion plants

Botanical name

Salix gracilistyla 'Melanostachys'

Other names

Black willow, Black pussy willow, Salix gracilistyla var. melanostachys, Salix melanostachys

Genus

Salix Salix

Variety or Cultivar

'Melanostachys' _ 'Melanostachys' is an upright, multi-stemmed, deciduous, male shrub with arching shoots, silky-hairy when young and red in winter, and oval, silky-hairy, grey-green leaves that turn glossy green with maturity. Purple-black catkins with bright, orange-red anthers are produced in early and mid-spring before the leaves unfurl.

Foliage

Deciduous

Tree shape

Rounded


Colour

Flower

Black, Flushed purple in Spring

Foliage

Green in Summer


How to care

Watch out for

Specific pests

Aphids , Caterpillars , Leaf beetles (willow and poplar) , Sawflies

Specific diseases

Anthracnose diseases , Rust

General care

Pruning

Can be pollarded every 3-4 years.

Propagation methods

Hardwood cuttings, Softwood cuttings


Monthly care advice


Where to grow

Salix gracilistyla 'Melanostachys' (Black willow) will reach a height of 3m and a spread of 3m after 20-50 years.

Suggested uses

Coastal, Hedging/Screens, Low Maintenance, Wildlife

Cultivation

Plant in moist but well-drained or well-drained soil in full sun. Dislikes shallow chalk soil.

Soil type

Clay, Loamy, Sandy

Soil drainage

Moist but well-drained, Moisture-retentive

Soil pH

Acid, Alkaline, Neutral

Light

Full Sun

Aspect

North, South, East, West

Exposure

Exposed, Sheltered

UK hardiness Note: We are working to update our ratings. Thanks for your patience.

Hardy (H4)

USDA zones

Zone 10, Zone 9, Zone 8, Zone 7, Zone 6, Zone 5, Zone 4, Zone 3, Zone 2

Defra's Risk register #1

Plant name

Salix gracilistyla 'Melanostachys' (Black willow)

Common pest name

Scientific pest name

Agrilus fleischeri

Type

Insect

Current status in UK

Absent

Likelihood to spread to UK (1 is very low - 5 is very high)

4

Impact (1 is very low - 5 is very high)

5

General biosecurity comments

Pest of poplar; native to East Asia. Likely to be damaging if introduced to the UK. Protecting against the risk of entry via wood packaging material and other means remains a priority. A Europe-wide assessment would be helpful; to consider strengthened regulation.

Defra's Risk register #2

Plant name

Salix gracilistyla 'Melanostachys' (Black willow)

Common pest name

Asian longhorn beetle; Starry sky beetle

Scientific pest name

Anoplophora glabripennis

Type

Insect

Current status in UK

Absent

Likelihood to spread to UK (1 is very low - 5 is very high)

2

Impact (1 is very low - 5 is very high)

4

General biosecurity comments

Recognised threat to a wide range of deciduous tress native to the UK. Already regulated it is a priority for continued surveillance and statutory action. The risk of entry is further mitigated by EU legislation requiring the monitoring of wooden packaging material originating from China.

Defra's Risk register #3

Plant name

Salix gracilistyla 'Melanostachys' (Black willow)

Common pest name

watermark disease of willow; willow vascular wilt; willow watermark disease; willow wilt

Scientific pest name

Brenneria salicis

Type

Bacterium

Current status in UK

Present (Limited)

Likelihood to spread in UK (1 is very low - 5 is very high)

2

Impact (1 is very low - 5 is very high)

4

General biosecurity comments

Bacterial organism causing watermark disease; which affects willow used for cricket bat production. Established in parts of England; despite long-standing powers for local authorities to take action; which have now been revoked.

About this section

Our plants are under greater threat than ever before. There is increasing movement of plants and other material traded from an increasing variety of sources. This increases the chances of exotic pests arriving with imported goods and travellers, as well as by natural means. Shoot is working with Defra to help members to do their part in preventing the introduction and spread of invasive risks.

Traveling or importing plants? Please read "Don't risk it" advice here

Suspected outbreak? Click here for contact details to report to the relevant authority.

Date updated: 7th March 2019 For more information visit: https://planthealthportal.defra.gov.uk/

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This plant likes... Garden match
Soil types: Clay, Loamy, Sandy Tell us...
Soil drainage: Moist but well-drained, Moisture-retentive Tell us...
Soil pH: Acid, Alkaline, Neutral Tell us...
Light: Full Sun Tell us...
Aspect: North, South, East, West Tell us...
Exposure: Exposed, Sheltered Tell us...
Hardiness: Hardy (H4) Tell us...

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