Salix candida (male)
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. Our first plants had female catkins and we recently obtained this male selection with delicate pink flowers. 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 2016-2018 resulted in very poor growth for the female selection, this naturally grows in swampy areas! We have created a new planting bed in the wetter area! 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!
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
Male catkins of the Sageleaf Willow
flowering in January 2104 from cut stems!
The Wonderful World of Willows
Vermont Willow Nursery
$15.50 per bundle of 5
Salix candida male selection. Still in short supply though. Must have moist soil.
Male catkins of Salix candida are really delightful; a burst of pink in late April.
Catkins lose their pink coloring at maturity.