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
for Spring 2019
Salix candida 'George Newman'
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 plant had female catkins and was found in Newfoundland by a gifted plantsman, George Newman of NH. With permission from the Salix Cultivar Naming Authority, I decided that this exceptional cultivar should be named in honor of its discover; George was very pleased with this!
This native 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. Deer are fond of this! 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!
Salix candida, Thalictrum 'Black Stockings', Amsonia, Chionanthus virginiana
The metal tripod at left is for Clematis 'Betty Corning', one of my favorites!
The support is made from three 16ft x 1/2in rebars and concrete reinforcing wire and is hidden by foliage later. This is part of our back garden.
The Wonderful World of Willows
Vermont Willow Nursery
Our Sageleaf Willow shown in August when in full growth. I took no cuttings in 2013 and it doubled in size!
It's one of the best Salix for small gardens, rock gardens and large containers.
$15.50 per bundle of 5
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 'George Newman' was found by George Newman in Newfoundland; a plantsman with a great eye for the exceptional and a fabulous grower of native plants.
Female catkins on a plant in the nursery at left with ovaries more openly spaced.
Salix candida growing wild in the High Peak Fen (Aapa Mire) in Colorado.
This species grows in diverse locations and seems to thrive anywhere it's moist.
Photo courtesy of Mike Kintgen, Denver Botanic Garden.
Female catkins on our original plan mid-May
Salix candida produces an abundance of gray catkins that bees are fond of.
They stand erect on their stems making them easy to find by winged insects!