candida = white
Sageleaf or Hoary Willow
This Vermont native is a tough and beautiful silver-leaved willow that can grow to 10ft, but in my garden after 6 years it is still only 4ft x 4ft. Has wooly silver leaves and stems that turn gray during the summer. This plant is a female-flowered selection and I have recently obtained a male selection with delicate pink flowers that will be offered in 2017. Grows wild in Northern North America from Alaska to Newfoundland down to WY, CO and SD in areas with cold winters and hot summers. Grows best in full sun and moist soils to which limestone has been added. Hardy to Zone 2.
USES: small ornamental shrub, use in the front of a mixed border or in a rock garden; great in a container.
NB: the drought of 2016 resulted in very poor growth in 2017, this naturally grows in swampy areas! I will have to create a new planting bed in the wettest area we have! I'd plant it in the swamp at the bottom of our property, but beavers would eat it as they eat all the other native willows there!
S. candida growing wild in the High Peak Fen (Aapa Mire) in Colorado.
Photo courtesy of Mike Kintgen, Denver Botanic Garden.
Photo courtesy of Kevin Lindegaard
One of the loveliest native willows. It’s equally happy in a swamp or cultivated in a
mixed border or a moist spot in a rock garden
The Sage Willow is at home in our garden growing alongside lilies, meadow-rue, Clematis 'Betty Corning' and amsonia. No special soil preparation was done before planting. This form of S. candida was discovered in the wild by George Newman of New Hampshire; a plantsman with a great eye for the exceptional and a fabulous grower of native plants.
Distribution of Salix candida in the US
Map used by permission of Dr John Kartesz & BONAP
Present in County
Present in State
Present but rare
Salix candida, Thalictrum 'Black Stockings', Amsonia, Chionanthus virginiana
The Wonderful World of Willows
Vermont Willow Nursery
$12.50 per bundle of 5
Male catkins of Salix candida are really delightful, a burst of pink in late April.
We have a few small plants and should have enough to sell in a year or two.
Female catkins on a plant in the nursery at left with ovaries more openly spaced.
Female catkins on our original plant at right and below shot in mid-May
for Spring 2018