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Holme Willow

Salix x calodendron

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Plant Profile

Flowering Months:
Salicaceae (Willow)
Deciduous tree
Life Cycle:
Maximum Size:
20 metres tall
Gardens, wetland, woodland.

Green, no petals
Erect, green catkins.
The fruit is a capsule which contains the seeds.
Broadly lanceolate leaves, up to 15cm long and 4cm wide. Dark green above and felted grey below. Very faintly toothed. Holme Willow is a hybrid between Goat Willow (Salix caprea) and Grey Willow (Salix cinerea).
Other Names:
Golden Willow, Gorgomel Sallow, Holm Willow, Hybrid Pussy Willow, Jargomel Sallow, Pussy Willow.
Frequency (UK):

Similar Species

Other Information


Salix x calodendron, also known as Golden Willow, is a hybrid willow tree, a cross between Salix alba and Salix caprea. It is a medium-sized tree that can grow up to 20 meters tall. The tree is known for its bright yellow twigs and branches, and its green leaves. The bark of the tree contains salicin, which is used in the production of aspirin. Golden willow is also used in traditional medicine for various ailments, including fever, pain, and inflammation. It is also a popular ornamental tree, grown for its attractive yellow twigs and branches. It is also used for erosion control, for its ability to stabilize banks and slopes, and for wildlife habitat.


Holm Willow (Salix x calodendron), also known as the Pussy Willow, is a hybrid species of willow tree that is known for its attractive and distinctive appearance. It is a deciduous tree that is native to Europe and Asia and has been widely cultivated as an ornamental plant in gardens and parks throughout the world.

One of the key features of Holm Willow is its distinctive, silvery-grey catkins (flowers) that bloom in early spring, long before the leaves emerge. These catkins are not only visually appealing, but they are also an important source of food for early pollinators, such as bees, which can be scarce during this time of year.

The leaves of the Holm Willow are narrow and long, typically green on the upper surface and blue-grey on the undersides. The tree can grow up to 20 meters in height and has a broad, rounded crown that provides ample shade in the summer.

In addition to its ornamental value, the Holm Willow is also highly valued for its wood, which is light, soft, and flexible, making it ideal for a variety of purposes, including basket-making, furniture production, and even musical instruments. The wood is also used for fuel, as it burns well and produces a lot of heat.

Cultivation of Holm Willow is relatively straightforward and the tree is very adaptable to different soils and growing conditions. It prefers moist, well-drained soils, but can tolerate a range of soils, including heavy clays and sandy soils. It can also tolerate cold temperatures and is hardy in USDA zones 4-7.

Overall, the Holm Willow is a versatile and attractive tree that provides a range of benefits, from its ornamental value to its wood and ecological significance. Whether planted as a specimen tree in a garden, or in a group as part of a larger landscape, the Holm Willow is sure to be a valuable addition to any setting.

In addition to its ornamental and practical uses, the Holm Willow also has a rich cultural and symbolic history. In many cultures, the silvery catkins of the Holm Willow are seen as a symbol of spring and renewal, and the tree has long been associated with the goddess of spring, fertility, and new beginnings.

The Holm Willow is also an important source of medicine, and has been used for centuries to treat a variety of ailments. For example, the bark of the Holm Willow contains salicylic acid, which is the active ingredient in aspirin, and has been used as a pain reliever and anti-inflammatory agent for centuries. The leaves and bark of the Holm Willow have also been used to treat coughs, colds, and other respiratory ailments.

In terms of its ecological importance, the Holm Willow provides habitat and food for a variety of wildlife, including birds, insects, and small mammals. The tree's broad crown provides shade and shelter, and its leaves and branches offer nesting sites for birds, while the catkins provide a valuable source of food for pollinators.

Overall, the Holm Willow is a versatile and valuable tree that offers a range of benefits to both humans and the environment. Whether grown for its ornamental value, wood, or ecological significance, the Holm Willow is sure to be a valuable addition to any landscape. So, if you are looking for a beautiful and versatile tree to add to your garden, consider the Holm Willow.

In addition to its ornamental, practical, cultural, and ecological benefits, the Holm Willow is also a popular choice for landscaping and restoration projects. The tree is fast-growing and can quickly establish itself in a variety of habitats, making it ideal for erosion control, stream bank stabilization, and wetland restoration projects.

The Holm Willow is also an excellent choice for wildlife habitats, as it provides food, shelter, and nesting sites for a wide variety of species. In particular, the tree is an important source of food and habitat for birds, including the iconic willow warbler, and the rare willow tit.

It is also important to note that the Holm Willow is a highly resilient tree, and is able to tolerate a range of environmental stresses, including frost, drought, and heavy winds. This makes it an ideal choice for landscaping projects in areas that experience harsh weather conditions.

In conclusion, the Holm Willow is a remarkable tree that offers a wealth of benefits to both people and the environment. Whether grown for its ornamental value, wood, medicine, ecological significance, or landscaping purposes, the Holm Willow is sure to be a valuable addition to any landscape.

Distribution Map

Reproduced by kind permission of the BSBI.

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