Salix myricoides 'Bronze Beauty'
myricoides = myrica like
Bayberry or Blueleaf Willow
NEW in 2018
This selection appeared amongst our original plants of Salix myricoides. I propagated 15 cuttings from this plant in 2014 and two cuttings, obviously from the same plant produced new leaves that look they had been treated with Coppertone®. So I took cuttings from one of these plants and they all were identical to the sport. It is more vigorous and has larger leaves than the original species. After growing it for several years I now believe it may be a hybrid, perhaps with Salix x fragilis and that might explain the vigour, but not the leaf color! It is a well-behaved shrub with several stems, many more if coppiced for a year or two. The young twigs are typically reddish-brown, but has been found with yellow-green variants, ours are the former. The handsome shiny, relatively thick leaves are its best feature and appear densely on the stems; this selection has larger leaves than the species, 6in long by 2.5in wide. The undersides are densely glaucous and appear almost white. When the wind blows (as it usually does on our ridge) the undersides of the leaves flash like summer snowbirds. Catkins appear before or as the leaves are opening and our plants have female catkins that are attractive and abundant. Hardy to USDA Zone 2?
USES: a fine shrub for the average garden with attractive bronze new foliage and a looser habit than the species.
The Wonderful World of Willows
Vermont Willow Nursery
$14.50 for 5 x 10in cuttings
Present in County
Present in State
Present but rare
Distribution of Salix myricoides in the US
Map used by permission of Dr John Kartesz & BONAP
Three rows in the nursery: koriyanagi top, myricoides middle and integra 'Flamingo' bottom.
Imagine our surprise when up popped this bronze-leaved form of myricoides growing amongst the usual bright green leaved species. All our cuttings came from one stock plant, so this is considered a branch sport! We propagated from this sport and all the progeny have the same characteristics.
Below is the species with typical coloring of young growth, here seen with a 1/2in long tree frog.
Catkins and leafy shoots appear in mid-to late April
Scarlet-red flower buds in the axils of the leaves, red petioles (leaf stalks), and large stipules at the base of the leaves. All these are used for identification.
There are only a few willows that have this kind of coloration, quite extraordinary.
Upright green female catkins at their height of receptivity for pollen.
A leaf of Salix myricoides on top of a leaf of 'Bronze Beauty'
showing the difference in size and color.