Black Pussy Willow
for Spring 2018
We are sold out of both of these items
WILLOWS ~ SALIX ~ IN THE FAMILY SALICACEAE
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Vermont Willow Nursery.
Layout, text and photographs by Michael Dodge unless otherwise noted.
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Willows listed by Common Names
WHY WILLOWS ARE SO SPECIAL!
70-135 MILLION YEARS AGO, DWARF WILLOWS DOMINATED THE WOODY FLORA.
WILLOWS CAN BE ALPINES, ORNAMENTAL SHRUBS OR HUGE TREES
350+/- DIFFERENT SPECIES ON FOUR CONTINENTS;
MOSTLY IN ASIA, EUROPE, NORTH AMERICA AND CIMCUMPOLAR IN THE ARCTIC
NATIVE WILLOWS ARE FOUND IN EVERY STATE EXCEPT HAWAII
OVER 1500 HYBRIDS AND CULTIVARS WORLDWIDE
WILLOWS ARE NATIVE TO MOST TEMPERATE REGIONS,
ALPINE, ARCTIC AND EVEN SOME TROPICAL REGIONS IN ASIA AND AFRICA
THE TERM 'PUSSY WILLOW' COMES FROM THE APPEARANCE OF MALE CATKINS
BEING SIMILAR TO THOSE OF CATS' PAWS!
SOME WILLOWS GROW OVER 100FT TALL, SOME GROW ONLY ONE INCH TALL
WILLOWS ARE EASY TO PROPAGATE, EASY TO GROW AND EASY TO PRUNE
CUTTINGS 1FT TO 20 FT LONG WILL ROOT IF GIVEN WATER
WILLOWS SELF-PROPAGATE BY SEED, STEM FRAGMENTATION AND ROOT SUCKERS
WILLOW CATKINS OR AMENTS HAVE SLIM, CYLINDRICAL FLOWER CLUSTERS (SPIKES), WITH NO PETALS AND ARE INSECT POLLINATED. THEY CONTAIN MANY USUALLY UNISEXUAL FLOWERS, ARRANGED CLOSELY ALONG A CENTRAL STEM.
WILLOWS HAVE MALE AND FEMALE CATKINS ON SEPARATE PLANTS (DIOECIOUS)
RARELY MALE AND FEMALE ORGANS ARE FOUND
IN THE SAME CATKIN (ANDROGYNOUS); USUALLY IN HYBRID WILLOWS
CATKINS OR AMENTS) MAY BE WHITE, BLACK, GRAY, SILVER, PINK OR RED
AND OFTEN CHANGE COLOR FROM WHEN THEY FIRST APPEAR TO MATURITY
SOME WILLOWS FLOWER BEFORE THE LEAVES APPEAR (PUSSY WILLOWS);
THE TERM USED TO DESCRIBE THIS IS PRECOCIOUS
PUSSY WILLOWS CAN BE COPPICED EVERY YEAR AND WILL BLOOM NEXT SPRING
SOME WILLOWS PRODUCE CATKINS ON SHORT LEAFY GROWTHS;
THE TERM TO DESCRIBE THIS IS COETANEOUS
THESE WILLOWS TAKE SEVERAL YEARS TO FLOWER AFTER COPPICING
SOME TAKE SEVERAL YEARS BEFORE THEY PRODUCE ANY CATKINS
MALE CATKINS HAVE BOTH NECTAR AND POLLEN
HARVESTED BOTH NECTAR AND POLLEN SINCE THE CRETACEOUS PERIOD.
BOTH MAKE GREAT TASTING HONEY. ONE OF THE BEST FOOD SOURCES FOR EAGER BEES. THERE ARE 14 SPECIES OF NATIVE BEES THAT USE WILLOWS EXTENSIVELY AS A SOURCE OF POLLEN. FOR MORE INFORMATION GO TO
WILLOWS ARE NOTORIOUS PHILANDERERS; POLLENATING INSECTS TRAVEL
BETWEEN CATKINS OF ANY SPECIES IN BLOOM. THIS CAN CREATE PROGENY WITH
MIXED PARENTAGE AND A NIGHTMARE FOR TAXONOMISTS
WILLOWS GROW ALMOST ANYWHERE, EVEN POOR AND POLLUTED SOILS
ALL THE WILLOWS WE OFFER ARE HARDY TO USDA ZONE 4, SOME HARDIER!
MOST WILLOWS ARE NOT EATEN BY DEER
DEER WILL NOT EAT SALIX PURPUREA AND SALIX TRIANDRA
A DENSE WILLOW FENCE/ WILL KEEP DEER OUT
VARIEGATED WILLOWS TURN GREEN WHEN GROWN IN SHADE!
GREAT LONG-LASTING CUT FLOWERS AND BRIGHT COLORED STEMS
FOR WINTER DISPLAYS; INSIDE OR OUT
FIRST WOODY PLANT TO FLOWER IN SPRING
LAST TREE TO LOSE ITS LEAVES IN AUTUMN
OCTOBER THROUGH APRIL!
WILLOWS HAVE YEAR-ROUND INTEREST
ALMOST ALL WEEPING WILLOW TREES CONTAIN GENES FROM THE CHINESE SALIX BABYLONICA AS IT IS THE ONLY TREE WILLOW WITH THAT GENE!
SALIX BABYLONICA WAS GIVEN THAT NAME BY CAROLUS LINNAEUS, THE FATHER OF MODERN TAXONOMY, PROBABLY BECAUSE OF A PASSAGE IN THE BIBLE:
By the waters of Babylon, there we sat down and wept, when we remembered Zion.
On the willows there we hung up our lyres. Psalms 137: 1-2
WHEN THE BIBLE WAS WRITTEN THERE WERE NO WEEPING WILLOWS IN BABYLON!
WHAT WAS REFERRED TO WERE POSSIBLY POPLARS
IN YOM KIPPUR CEREMONIES IN OCTOBER. THE FOUR SPECIES:
On the first day, you will take for yourselves a fruit of a beautiful tree, palm branches, twigs of a braided tree and brook willows, and you will rejoice before the Lord your God for seven days. -Leviticus 23:40
THE BROOK WILLOW MAY REFER TO SALIX ACMOPHYLLA ( a ZONE 6 SALIX)
A NATIVE TO THAT PART OF THE WORLD
AND COMMON ON THE BANKS OF THE RIVER JORDAN
IN DYNGUS DAY EASTER CELEBRATIONS, ESPECIALLY IN BUFFALO NY,
PUSSY WILLOWS ARE USED IN "FROLICKING FUN"
A WILLOW GARDEN IS CALLED A SALLEY GARDEN IN BRITAIN AND IRELAND
"Salley" or "sally" is a form of the Standard English word "sallow", i.e., a tree of the genus Salix
It is also close in sound to the Irish word saileach, meaning Willow.
Below is a link to a sung version to a beautiful Irish song "Down by the Salley Garden"
GARDEN ART AND STRUCTURES
BIODEGRADABLE COMPOST BINS
CUT STEMS FOR FORCING
FENCES, AND WATTLES – LIVE AND DRIED WILLOWS
SCREENS AND WINDBREAKS
HERODOTUS DESCRIBED CORACLES BUILT WITH WILLOWS
IN THE 5TH CENTURY BC
ARTIST’S FINE CHARCOAL
FOOD FOR BOVINES, RABBITS AND GOATS
SPEARS FOR THROWERS
EVEN CRICKET BATS
DOMES, TUNNELS, CHAIRS, ARCHES, TEMPLES, TEE-PEES
WOVEN TREES IN CONTAINERS = ""
CHICKEN AND RABBIT TUNNELS TO HIDE FROM HAWKS
RIVER AND STREAM BANK RESTORATION
WILLOWS ARE USED EXTENSIVELY FOR RESTORING ERODED OR DISTURBED BANKS. THEY ARE ONE OF THE FEW WOODY PLANTS THAT ROOT QUICKLY AND EASILY FROM CUTTINGS; THUS MAKING SUCH PROJECTS MUCH CHEAPER THAN USING ESTABLISHED PLANTS.
CLEAN UP TOXIC WASTE SITES BY ABSORBING
CHEMICALS AND HEAVY METALS AND NEUTRALIZING THEM.
WILLOWS ARE BEING USED TO CLEAN UP POLLUTED INDUSTRIAL SITES
WASTES OF COAL MINING AND BURNING AND OTHER MINING WASTE
WILLOWS CAN BE GROWN UNDER WALNUT TREES AS THEY ARE NOT AFFECTED BY THE CHEMICAL JUGLONE THAT WALNUTS PRODUCE
FOR BURNING DIRECTLY AND TO MAKE ETHANOL
WILLOWS ARE ENVIRONMENTLY SUPERIOR TO CORN FOR ETHANOL. THEY DO NOT HAVE TO BE PLANTED EVERY YEAR AND DON'T NEED THE USE OF WEEDKILLERS AND POISONOUS PESTICIDES TO GROW
ANCIENT EGYPTIANS, ASSYRIANS AND HERODOTUS (5THC BC)
DESCRIBED USING WILLOWS AS A PAIN KILLER
ASPIRIN WAS FIRST DERIVED FROM SALICIN FROM SALIX
NATIVE AMERICANS CHEWED WILLOW STICKS FOR TOOTHACHE
AND OTHER PAIN
SALICYLIC ACID FROM WILLOWS IS USED TO CONTROL
DANDRUFF AND WARTS
SALICYLIC ACID WAS THE FIRST CHEMICAL ROOTING AGENT
FOR HARD-TO-ROOT PLANTS OTHER THAN WILLOWS.
THIS WAS FOLLOWED BY INDOLE BUTYRIC ACED (IBA)
AND ALSO FOUND IN WILLOWS AND STILL WIDELY IN USE
AND URNS FOR ASHES
Willow in other languages
WILLOW = SAULE = WEIDE = SAUCE = SALICE = ива = Yángliǔ = YANAGI
English French German Spanish Italian Russian Chinese Japanese
SEILEACH = HELYG = SELJE = VIDE = PADU = WILG = עֲרָבָה
Scottish Welsh Norwegian Swedish Finnish Dutch Hebrew
For more photos and information, please click this link below
. Michael used Salix miyabeana.
Facts About Vermont Willow Nursery
We offer 150 different willows; this is by far the largest willow offering in the country. Our complete Salix collection is larger than the collections of any nursery, Arboretum or Botanic Garden in North America!
We offer 20 native North American species, 4 cultivars and 2 hybrids. Largest such offering in the country! See our .... page!
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The Wonderful World of Willows
Vermont Willow Nursery
Salix candida male selection. One of our new listings in 2019, still in short supply though, but I couldn't resist offering it. I found this while botanizing with my mentor George Argus a few years ago in a swamp near his home in Ontario. We've been building up stock ever since. Must have moist soil!
Salix babylonica 'Sunny Twist', a new hybrid Curly Willow developed at SUNY Syracuse.
Salix purpurea 'Nancy Saunders' is a great basketry willow as it has very slender rods for fine work.
, our best-selling willow. Easy to see why! Sells out every year even though we keep planting more! Cut stems will flower for Valentine's Day!
Cut stems of and the
what a treat in February! < sold out
Vermont Willow Nursery and Farm is for Sale: Update
Over the next 12 months we would like to sell Vermont Willow Nursery. We have an 1850 farmhouse extensively renovated in 2006-8. The farm is located on 50 acres of fertile farmland in Fairfield, Franklin County, Vermont. This is a great opportunity for someone who would like to get away from the rat-race of urban living and have a sustainable life style in a pastoral setting.
This coming 2020 harvest and shipping season – approximately three months from April through June - we would welcome any potential buyer to avail themselves of an apprenticeship opportunity to work with us in order to learn and understand all aspects of the business.
We are receiving assistance from a VT State Office whose focus is maintaining small farms in Vermont. They assist both the sellers and potential buyers. Because we spend our winters in New Mexico, we’ve had to put this assistance on hold until we return to Vermont at the end of March. Our advisor is working to locate an authority to evaluate the property as a small farm, not just as a residence. Realtors and Bankers cannot/will not do that. So until we have that evaluation in April/May we do not know the asking price. We would like the sale to go through this year or early next year if this is possible.
As mentioned above, we would prefer to have someone come to the farm during the shipping/coppicing season so the individual(s) can learn from me this year. We know it will take time to completely transition and I will be willing to return to assist during future Spring shipping and coppicing seasons. It is my intention to be able to continue to photograph and study willows in our collection for the next few years as I have not had time to study recent acquisitions. This is especially true when they have their catkins, which is in the middle of our busiest time of year.
We look forward to receiving the names of anyone who might be interested. We have lots of ideas about how to improve the facilities to expand business opportunities. This is a unique business as none has ever offered so many willows for sale and so many ways to use them.
Please contact Sonia or Michael at
275ft Fedge built by Michael, April 23rd 2016, Greenwich, CT
NEW WILLOWS FOR 2019
Through the generosity of fellow willow enthusiasts we are delighted to offer two new-to-us willows.
We are also offering 27 willows that are new to us and in short supply. At this time there are no photos or decriptions! Most have never been offered in North America before.
Click here to see the list.
NAME CHANGES FOR 2020
We try to stay up-to-date with Salix nomenclature changes by various authorities.
Salix x erythroflexuosa
now Salix xpendulina f. erythroflexuosa
Salix x erythroflexuosa 'Caradoc'
now Salix xpendulina f. erythroflexuosa 'Caradoc'
Salix matsudana 'Golden Curls'
now Salix xpendulina f. erythroflexuosa 'Golden Curls'
Salix babylonica 'Sunny Twist'
now Salix xpendulina f. erythroflexuosa 'Sunny Twist'
Salix matsudana 'Tortuosa' now Salix babylonica f. tortuosa
Salix matsudana 'Dart's Snake'
now Salix babylonica f. tortuosa 'Darts Snake'
Salix matsudana 'Navajo'
now Salix babylonica f. umbraculifera 'Navajo'
Salix alba 'Vitellina' now Salix x fragilis f. Vitellina
Salix alba 'Aurea' now Salix x fragilis f. Vitellina 'Aurea'
Salix alba 'Basfordiana'
now Salix x fragilis f. Vitellina 'Basfordiana'
Salix xfragilis Bouton Aigu'
now Salix x fragilis f. Vitellina 'Bouton Aigu'
Salix alba 'Britzensis' now Salix x fragilis f. Vitellina 'Britzensis'
Salix alba 'Cardinalis' now Salix x fragilis f. Vitellina 'Cardinalis'
Salix xfragilis 'Chermesina'
now Salix x fragilis f. Vitellina 'Chermesina'
Salix 'Flame' red now Salix x fragilis f. Vitellina 'Flame' red
Salix 'Flame Yellow' now Salix x fragilis f. Vitellina 'Flame Yellow'
Salix xfragilis 'Fransgeel Rood'
now Salix x fragilis f. Vitellina 'Fransgeel Rood'
Salix xfragilis 'Flanders Red'
now Salix x fragilis f. Vitellina 'Flanders Red'
Salix xfragilis 'Golden Willow'
now Salix x fragilis f. Vitellina 'Golden Willow'
Salix xfragilis 'Hutchinson's Yellow Bark'
now Salix x fragilis f. Vitellina 'Hutchinson's Yellow Bark'
Salix xfragilis 'Jaune de Falaise'
now Salix x fragilis f. Vitellina 'Jaune de Falaise'
Salix xfragilis 'Rouge Ardennais'
now Salix x fragilis f. Vitellina 'Rouge Ardennais'
These changes were Authorized in the following Publication:
The application of scientific names to plants in cultivation: Salix vitellina L. and related taxa (Salicaceae). Skvortzovia: 4(2) 42-70 92018)
Irina V. Belyaeva, Olga V. Epantchintseva, Rafaël H.A. Govaerts, Kevin McGinn, John Hunnex and Yulia A. Kuzovkina
Our cuttings sold in bundles of 5, Minimum order is 2 bundles
Sorry, we can't ship to Europe
The EU has a ban on all willows from the US. This is due to a pest called Xylella that infects grapes and olives; willow is an alternate host.
Bulletin May 15, 2020
Sonia and I are still shipping orders. We have very few orders left to ship in the next few days. We are considering opening sales for Fall shipments to States in USDA Hardiness Zones 7 and above; both cuttings and rods. Then we will open sales for Spring 2021 shipping.
Thank you for your patience and support. Stay well while spending time self-isolating in your gardens and enjoying the beauty of spring.
We do no business over the telephone,
please respect our privacy!
our e-mail address: