Salix x rubra ‘Harrisons’

purpurea x viminalis

rubra = red

Rubra is a natural hybrid found in many locations in the UK and throughout Europe where the two species grow near each other. It produces a tall shrub or small tree 10-20ft high. Many selections have been made and as the rods are long and flexible they have been used for over a hundred years for basketry. All Rubras have green undersides to the leaves and have pubescent (furry) young stems and leaves. It has never flowered for us, so we can't tell you anything about them. I haven’t been able to find out why ‘Harrisons’ and ‘Harrisons B’ were selected. I’ll do more research and fill you in, if and when I find out! They are both very vigorous growers for us in VT and make lots of rods from very dense stools (the term for coppiced willows). Dried rod color: mid-green, wrinkled surface


USES: small ornamental tree; coarse basketry and living structures.

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The Wonderful World of Willows

Vermont Willow Nursery

$12.50 per bundle of 5

Long, linear leaves influenced by both parents and red stems in the first year.

Leaves start out looking like purpurea, but grow much longer.

Young plants in the nursery abundantly producing rods. Left: early May. Right: late May

About Harrison's Rubra Seedlings

These are a group of seedlings of a cross between Salix purpurea and Salix viminalis and selected by the now defunct Harrisons Nursery in England over 100 years ago.

They are as follows:

'Harrisons'

'Harrison's Seedling A'

'Harrison's Seedling B'

'Harrison's Seedling C'

'Harrison's Seedling D'

'Harrison's Seedling E'

'Harrison's Seedling F'

'Harrison's Seedling G'

'Harrison's Seedling H'


'Harrison's Brown' has totally different foliage from the above

and is probably a different hybrid!