Salix xmeyeriana 'Lumley'
([pentandra x euxina] x lucida?)
Hybrid Bay or Laurel Willow is a natural hybrid between two willows native to Europe and the Caucasus, this created Salix xmeyeriana. I believe that this hybrid was then crossed with Salix lucida (native to North America) by the US Forestry Service around 1900. This makes a magnificent 60 x 40ft tree with very large, attractive, very shiny, dark leaves reminiscent of Cherry Laurel (Prunus laurocerasus). It can be kept smaller with coppicing or heavy pruning. As broad-leaved evergreens are rare in Northern Vermont, this can perform the same function as Cherry Laurel; even if it is just in summer. The foliage is one of the most attractive of all willows. Ours is a male selection with showy catkins that came misidentified as Salix lucida; the Hybrid Bay Willow has much larger and shinier leaves than the native Shiny Willow, especially when coppiced! The name was changed from S. pentandra as the twigs are very brittle, whereas S. pentandra are not. (check out the video on the S. x meyeriana 'Silver Lake' page)!
These are the references I found:
The Cultivation of Osiers and Willows by William Paulgrave Ellmore, 1919. page 47.
'Basket Willow Production' by George N, Lamb 1914. USDA 'Farmer's Bulletin'
Unfortunately Lamb called them Lemley and Patent Lemley, and I believe this was due to the misreading a hand-written lable/letter.
USES: A great specimen plant for a large garden, useful for large hedges and dense screens; living structures and coarse basketry; can be coppiced and pollarded.
The Wonderful World of Willows
Vermont Willow Nursery
$12.50 per bundle of 5
Even though S. x meyeriana is not a native it has a wide distribution
in northern North America
Species present, not rare
Here's a Salix xmeyeriana in the nursery looking wind-blown after I coppiced the plants around it. This is a vigorous willow.
Beautiful catkins, handsome foliage; what more could one want?
An intimate look at the male catkin.
Handsome glossy foliage, leaves up to 5in long.
Name changed from
A young plant in the nursery showing the glossy long leaves. One of the handsomest willows we grow!
left: These are male catkins on the plant at right. I've never seen the likes of this on any other Salix. Bifids and trifids! Most peculiar. It took six years for it first produce catkins and I've never propagated it to see if this is the norm for this selection!