Salix matsudana 'Tortuosa'
names: Curly, Corkscrew, Peking willow
There are many varieties of the larger Peking
willow. We also have S. matsudana 'Golden Curls'
(formerly listed as S. babylonica var pekinensis).
These two are virtually identical other than that
Golden Curls has reddish yellow new growth and
Tortuosa has dark bronze.
This is a smaller clone preferred by the Japanese
for flower arrangements, where it is used both
fresh and dried. In colder climates, it is not
as prone to die back, thus preserving the twisted
golden branches. Highly ornamental
and non-invasive, Tortuosa can be used in smaller
areas. Nonetheless, one would wise to keep it
well away from septic fields, which is the case
with any tree.
Suitable for seaside conditions.
S. matsudana ' Tortuosa' will grow to a height
of 15 - 20' in just 3 to 4 seasons, then slow
down and fill out, eventually reaching around
30' after 8 to 10 years.
There are two ways to grow this plant - pruned
or left to grow to its natural form. Read our
page about pruning
willows to find out more about coppicing and
the resulting different plant form with an emphasis
on colorful stems for winter interest.
Description: small tree; 6-9
m (20-30'); contorted dark bronze new growth;
outstanding ornamental throughout the year
Conditions: full sun to part
shade; thrives in poor soil; drought tolerant;
prune for desired effect.
Coldest zone: 4 (find
your zone; further info on plant hardiness)
Comparison of willow
stems and leaves
Lists of various willow