Salix caprea ‘Pendula Kilmarnock’
(S. caprea 'Kilmarnock')
caprea = goat pendula = weeping
Weeping Goat Willow
This willow grows absolutely prostrate along the ground so it makes a very unusual ground-cover for sunny locations; also it will grow down a bank or over rocks. It can also be trained as a single stem tied to a stout support and become a weeping standard. It is often sold in garden centers and nurseries as a top-grafted plant. It is grafted anywhere from 5-10ft on top of a different willow species and allowed to cascade. We do not offer such plants--they look too fake to our taste! The catkins are silver; female catkins turn green and male catkins turn bright yellow (like ours). This is the male selection of Salix caprea ‘Pendula Kilmarnock’ that originated near the River Ayr about 20 miles from the historic Clan Hunter castle, Hunterston Castle, West Kilbride, Scotland. (info from Charles E. Hunter I on Facebook). We have a large vigorous plant of this selection that I staked so it would be taller before weeping. Hardy to Zone 3.
USES: As an ornamental shrub in a large rock garden or as a ground cover.
As a standard it can be used as a specimen plant.
Here is the Weeping Goat Willow growing over a mulch of Eastern White Pine needles in one of our growing areas--one of the best mulches I know. We are going to move it this spring to cascade over rocks. We’ll prune it first, so we’ll have cuttings available!
Male catkins opened for the first time in 2013 and we discovered that our cuttings did originate from the clone 'Kilmarnock'
If you train the branches of the weeping goat willow to grow on a domed metal cage or curved dried willow sticks,
you can get this arching effect. Internet photo from France.
The Wonderful World of Willows
Vermont Willow Nursery
$14.50 per bundle of 5
Young shoots appear after flowering and grow erect (photo at right)
or curving upright at first (above photo).
Both will eventually get the genetic message to grow downward!
Here is another specimen, seen at the Arboretum of the Ottawa Experiment Station in Ottawa, Canada.
This has a trunk that is leaning to the right, probably from the weight of the branches!
left: young shoots that are growing vertically at first but will get a genetic message to turn down.
left: this is a trio of plants grown as one in the Trondheim Botanic Garden, Norway in June 2017. Probabky gives more stability to the plants.
right: detail of the foliage of the plant at left.
One of the original Salix caprea
'Kilmarnock' in Scotland. This plant is 20ft tall, so it must have been trained up this structure.
Photo by Charles Hunter, of the Hunter Clan and used with permission.