Black Pussy Willow
for Spring 2018
We are sold out of both of these items
WILLOWS ~ SALIX ~ IN THE FAMILY SALICACEAE
All the material in this website is Copyright 2020 Vermont Willow Nursery. All rights reserved.
Nothing may be used without written permission from the Vermont Willow Nursery.
Layout, text and photographs by Michael Dodge unless otherwise noted.
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10in Cuttings are sold in bundles of 5, Minimum order is 2 bundles
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 SUKKOT 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 5 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
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 of near to 450 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. Newly listed in 2019, still in short supply, but we couldn't resist offering it. I found this while botanizing with my mentor Dr. George Argus a few years ago in a swamp near his home in Ontario. Must have moist soil!
Salix babylonica 'Sunny Twist', a Curly Willow developed at SUNY Syracuse that has proved very popular.
Salix purpurea 'Nancy Saunders' is a another popular variety with the reddest stems of any purpurea.
, 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!
Vermont Willow Nursery and Farm is for Sale: Update
Due to Stay-at-Home requirements of the State of Vermont we have put the sale of our Fairfield farm property and Vermont Willow Nursery on hold until the pandemic restrictions are lifted, permitting farm and business visits.
Over the past year we have been contacted by enthusiastic entrepreneurs that see this business as a great opportunity to get away from the rat-race of urban living and have a sustainable life style in an secluded pastoral setting.
We had the pleasure of working with volunteer apprentices who joined us for part of this truncated shipping season. Through snow, wind and rain these noble souls experienced all aspects of the business, they remain interested potential buyers.
We are waiting for the professional evaluation of the property as a farm-based business operation, not just a country residence. We are resigned to be here and work with any new buyer for the next two years through the harvest and shipping season of 2022. It is Michael's intention to continue to photograph and study willows in his collection.
We have lots of ideas about where to enlarge the willow production to existing open acres. We know where to go next to expand business opportunities. This is a unique business in the Unites States, none other has ever offered so many willows for sale and so many ways to use them.
Please contact Sonia or Michael at
Using 1000 Salix miyabeana rods Michael built this 275ft Fedge,
April 2016, in Greenwich, CT. More info at: .
We cannot 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 June 1, 2020
We are extending the 2020 shipping season into the Autumn. In late October early November we intend to harvest and ship to customers in USDA Plant Hardiness Zones 7-11. Our revised inventory is up and active today.
We are also taking orders for Spring, shipping in March-through May 2021.
Thank you for your patience and support during the pandemic. Stay well while spending time self-isolating in your gardens and enjoying the beauty of spring, then summer.
Please note, we are out in the growing fields all day and not available by phone. Email is the best way to communicate with either of us. Thank you.
our e-mail address: