Salix eleagnos 'Angustifolia'

(synonym S. e. ‘Rosmarinifolia’)

eleagnos = like Russian Olive      angustifolia = narrow leaf)

Rosemary Willow

This choice shrub or small tree is known as Rosemary Willow as the small narrow leaves are reminiscent of the herb. It's a very attractive, compact large shrub that can grow to 15ft high by 15ft wide. The leaves are 3-6in long and 1/8-1/4in wide; gray at first, but later turn dark green above and dense white woolly hairs beneath. In spring there is a prolific burst of golden catkins on male plants and in fall the leaves turn a dazzling bright yellow. Ours are female plants, although some are yet to bloom. Hardy to USDA Zone 4.

USES: ornamental shrub in borders, by pools or ponds, even large rock gardens and containers.

NB: There is a willow called Salix rosmarinifolia from Eastern Europe that is very different from this willow. It's also quite rare, so if you see a plant labelled with the scientific name Salix rosmarinifolia, chances are it's mislabelled and it is really Salix eleagnos or, more likely, the narrow leaf form

S. e. 'Angustifolia'! Apparently in Finland S. rosmarinifolia is much hardier than what we know as the Rosemary Willow.

It may not be in the USA. If it is, I'd like to know where!

Salix elaeagnus

We are looking for a taxonomically verified plant of the species Salix eleagnos,

not the form offered here.

I would appreciate any leads to this

and will swap 10 cuttings of any plant in my list for

10 cuttings of this species--if it’s true to name!!!

Thanks very much!

This unique willow has a delightful feathery appearance and looks like a rosemary on steroids. Too bad it doesn’t have the same bouquet!

photo courtesy of Don Statham at

Below: Rosemary Willow blowing in the wind at the Montreal Botanic Garden

at right: Rosemary Willow at North Hill, the amazing garden of Joe Eck and the late Wayne Winterrowd in Southern Vermont. This plant was given to them decades ago by the late Linc Foster, father of the North American Rock Garden Society and cherished friend.

Above and below: Rosemary Willow in Margaret Roach’s garden in early-summer and fall.

A great shrub for all seasons.

Click on the link below for the complete story, but please come back!

HOME          VARIETIES          ABOUT US          BEST WILLOWS FOR...          COLLECTIONS          STRUCTURE KITS          ORDER FORM


The foliage of Rosemary Willow is long and linear, green on top and silvery-white underneath.

Photos taken in the Montreal Botanic Garden.

The Wonderful World of Willows

Vermont Willow Nursery

$12.50 per bundle of 5

Female catkins that are just opening (L Denver Botanic Garden--early April) and those that have been fertilized and starting to show the fluffy hairs that help disperse the seed (R). Mid-May.

Male catkins in an internet photos from Silvano Ravido in Italy.

I have yet to see a male flower!