Salix viminalis - Common osier, Basket willow
Most basket-type willows are
highly ornamental and the common osier is no exception.
The three most frequently used willows for basketry
are Salix purpurea, Salix triandra
and Salix viminalis. When these three
are interplanted in a border, the variety of stem
colour in the winter garden rivals any other season.
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.
A good willow for butterflies and bees.
Description: large shrub or small
tree; 3-6 m (10-20') tall; deep yellow to reddish brown new
growth; numerous yellow catkins in early spring; highly ornamental
Conditions: full sun to part shade; thrives
with regular deep watering; tolerates a wide variety of soil
types; prune for utility.
Coldest zone: 3 (find your
zone; further info on plant hardiness)
This picture was taken in October and is of a group of two
year old plants that are coppiced in the late
winter every year.
of S. viminalis]
Comparison of willow
stems and leaves
Lists of various willow