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Salix purpurea (Purple willow)

Beginner
skill rating
1 hour care
per year
8m
Max height
4m
Max spread
10-20 years
To maturity

Plant details

Botanical name

Salix purpurea

Other names

Purple willow, Purple osier, Bitter willow, Basket willow, Salix purpurea 'Helix'

Genus

Salix Salix

Species

S. purpurea - S. purpurea is a deciduous shrub or a tree with narrowly long-oblong leaves which are dark green above, glaucous green below and small catkins in early spring.


Salix purpurea is: Deciduous

Tree shape

Spreading

Flower

Silvery-grey in Spring

Foliage

Blue-green, Dark-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 purpurea (Purple willow) will reach a height of 8m and a spread of 4m after 10-20 years.

Suggested uses

Hedging/Screens, Low Maintenance, Wildlife

Cultivation

Plant in deep, moist, well-drained soil in full sun. Does not like shallow chalk soils.

Soil type

Clay, Loamy, Sandy

Soil drainage

Moist but well-drained, Well-drained

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 purpurea

Other names

Purple willow, Purple osier, Bitter willow, Basket willow, Salix purpurea 'Helix'

Genus

Salix Salix

Species

S. purpurea - S. purpurea is a deciduous shrub or a tree with narrowly long-oblong leaves which are dark green above, glaucous green below and small catkins in early spring.

Foliage

Deciduous

Tree shape

Spreading


Colour

Flower

Silvery-grey in Spring

Foliage

Blue-green, Dark-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 purpurea (Purple willow) will reach a height of 8m and a spread of 4m after 10-20 years.

Suggested uses

Hedging/Screens, Low Maintenance, Wildlife

Cultivation

Plant in deep, moist, well-drained soil in full sun. Does not like shallow chalk soils.

Soil type

Clay, Loamy, Sandy

Soil drainage

Moist but well-drained, Well-drained

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 purpurea (Purple 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 purpurea (Purple 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.

Defra's Risk register #3

Plant name

Salix purpurea (Purple willow)

Common pest name

Scientific pest name

Hylesia nigricans

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

South American moth which could be damaging to broadleaf species if introduced to the UK; as well as having human health impacts. The main pathway is likely to be goods (including non-plant material) imported from South America and awareness raising with the main industry sectors is recommended.

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, Well-drained 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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Salix purpurea

The bark of the twigs is rich in aspirin and was, traditionally, chewed to help with headaches before the drug became so widely and cheaply available. Most drugs owe something to plants, which is one… read more

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