Salix eriocephala ‘Russelliana’

eriocephala = woolly head

Woolly-head Willow

This is an English selection of a North American species that forms a widely-branching shrub to 12ft with rich reddish-brown stems and red female flowers in late April in VT. The showy young leaves are translucent and a striking reddish purple; later the foliage is dark green above and pale green beneath. Best if coppiced every 2-3 years to produce lots of vigorous young shoots for basket making. The species name is derived from the masses of fluffy white seed heads. Hardy to zone 4. Dried rod color: red-purple with green streaks

USES: ornamental shrub in borders, by pools or ponds if hard-pruned regularly; a great willow for basket making.

An intimate look at female catkins with yellow-tipped stigmas ready to receive pollen insects such bees.

The leaves are a delicate shade of pink when they first open and are quite lovely.

The flowers in the background are the same shade at first.

below: these leaves darken as they age, before turning green.

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The Wonderful World of Willows

Vermont Willow Nursery

$12.50 per bundle of 5

Long stems with deep red catkins and red tinged leaves of this selection of our native willow

makes it a choice ornamental plant.

New growth tinged red above dark red female catkins.

right: Here's a typical shoot of

S. eriocephala.

It is noted for its long stems; great for cutting and basketry!

Vigorous plants in the nursery in late August; lots of long unbranched rods for basketry.

Catkin buds and stems are dark red in early April before the catkins appear.

left: an intimate look at a female catkin with stigmas ready to receive pollen; hairs around the ovaries; two pairs of sparsely hairy leaflets under the naughty bits; bud scales hanging on below the leaves.

All these features are used in identification.