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Green-leaved Willow

Salix x rubra

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Plant Profile

Flowering Months:
Salicaceae (Willow)
Deciduous shrub
Life Cycle:
Maximum Size:
15 metres tall
Gardens, hedgerows, roadsides, woodland.

Red, no petals
Reddish-pink catkins. Pollinated by bees.
The fruit is a seed capsule.
Long, slender leaves. The leaves are green above and below.
Other Names:
Red Osier, Scarlet Willow, Tulip Willow.
Frequency (UK):

Similar Species

Other Information


Salix x rubra, also known as Red Osier or Scarlet Willow, is a hybrid willow tree, a cross between Salix alba and Salix sericea. It is a medium-sized tree or large shrub that can grow up to 6 meters tall. The tree is known for its bright red twigs and branches, and its green leaves. The bark of the tree contains salicin, which is used in the production of aspirin. Red osier 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 red twigs and branches. It is also used for erosion control, for its ability to stabilize banks and slopes, and for wildlife habitat. It is also used for basketry, for making furniture and as a hedge.


Green-leaved Willow (Salix x rubra) is a hybrid species of willow tree that is native to North America. It is a deciduous tree that belongs to the Salicaceae family, which includes many popular ornamental trees such as the Weeping Willow.

This hybrid species is created by the cross between two willow species: Salix alba (white willow) and Salix babylonica (weeping willow). Green-leaved willow is known for its unique characteristics, including its fast growth, strong wood, and vibrant green foliage.

Green-leaved willow is a tall, slender tree that can grow up to 50 feet in height. Its leaves are long and narrow, with a glossy green appearance that adds a lush and tropical look to any landscape. The leaves turn yellow in the fall, adding to the tree's beauty during the changing of the seasons.

In addition to its ornamental value, green-leaved willow is also a valuable source of wildlife habitat. Many bird species, such as the American Goldfinch, find shelter and food in the branches of this tree. The tree's bark and leaves also provide food for insects and other wildlife.

Green-leaved willow is a versatile tree that can be grown in a variety of conditions. It is drought-tolerant and can thrive in wet soils, making it an ideal choice for planting near streams or other bodies of water. It is also a hardy tree that can handle cold temperatures and strong winds.

When it comes to planting and caring for green-leaved willow, there are a few things to keep in mind. This tree should be planted in an area with full sun exposure and well-draining soil. It also requires regular watering, especially during dry periods. Pruning should be done in the late winter or early spring to promote healthy growth and maintain the tree's shape.

Green-leaved willow is a beautiful and versatile tree that is well-suited for many landscaping applications. Whether you are looking to add a touch of green to your backyard or provide habitat for local wildlife, this hybrid species of willow is an excellent choice.

Green-leaved Willow is a fast-growing tree that can grow up to 10 feet in a single year. This characteristic makes it an ideal choice for creating quick shade or for use as a privacy screen. The tree's strong wood and flexible branches also make it useful for erosion control along streams or in other areas prone to soil erosion.

In terms of its ornamental value, green-leaved willow is a great choice for adding vertical interest to a landscape. Its tall, slender form provides a dramatic backdrop for shorter plants and flowers. It also looks stunning when planted in groups, creating a lush and colorful screen.

Another benefit of green-leaved willow is its versatility when it comes to soil conditions. This tree can tolerate a wide range of soil types, including clay, loam, and sand. It is also resistant to many common pests and diseases, making it a low-maintenance choice for gardeners and landscapers.

When it comes to planting green-leaved willow, it is important to give it plenty of room to grow. This tree can reach a mature height of 50 feet or more, so it should be planted in an area with enough space to accommodate its mature size. It is also important to plant it in a location where it will receive adequate sunlight and water.

Finally, green-leaved willow is a great choice for use in sustainable landscaping. This tree is a fast-growing species that is able to absorb a large amount of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, making it an environmentally friendly option for gardeners and landscapers.

Green-leaved willow is a beautiful, versatile, and low-maintenance tree that can add interest and color to any landscape. Whether you are looking for a quick-growing shade tree or a specimen plant to anchor your garden, green-leaved willow is an excellent choice.

Another feature of green-leaved willow is its ability to provide food and shelter for wildlife. The tree's leaves and bark are a source of food for many species of birds and insects, making it an important part of the ecosystem. In addition, the tree's branches provide a safe haven for birds to nest and raise their young.

In addition to its ornamental and ecological benefits, green-leaved willow has many practical uses as well. For example, its strong and flexible wood is used for basket weaving and as a source of fuel for firewood. The tree's bark is also rich in salicylic acid, which is used in the production of aspirin and other medicinal products.

When it comes to planting green-leaved willow, it is important to choose the right variety for your specific needs and growing conditions. There are many different cultivars of green-leaved willow available, each with its own unique characteristics, such as different leaf shapes, growth rates, and disease resistance.

It is also important to note that green-leaved willow can be invasive in some areas, especially in wet or poorly drained soils. To avoid this problem, it is recommended to plant it in well-draining soil and to remove any suckers that may arise from the base of the tree.

In conclusion, green-leaved willow is a beautiful, versatile, and practical tree that offers many benefits to gardeners, landscapers, and the environment. Whether you are looking for a fast-growing shade tree, a source of fuel or medicine, or a valuable habitat for wildlife, green-leaved willow is a great choice.

Distribution Map

Reproduced by kind permission of the BSBI.

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