Common Name: dappled willow
Type: Deciduous shrub
Zone: 5 to 7
Height: 4.00 to 6.00 feet
Spread: 5.00 to 7.00 feet
Bloom Time: March to April
Bloom Description: Yellowish
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium to wet
Suggested Use: Hedge, Rain Garden
Other: Winter Interest
Tolerate: Erosion, Wet Soil, Black Walnut
Grow in moist, fertile, well-drained soils in full sun to part shade. Prefers full sun, but appreciates some part afternoon shade in hot summer climates. Best foliage color occurs in cool summer climates north of USDA Zone 7. Thrives in consistently moist soils, but tolerates somewhat drier soils better than many other willows. Prune as needed in late winter to early spring. Many gardeners prune stems back in late winter each year to encourage more vigorous growth and to control plant size. However, minimal pruning works well if a large wild shrub with arching branches is desired.
Salix integra, commonly known as willow, is a deciduous shrub featuring yellowish flowers in small catkins (to 1” long) in spring (April-May), narrow pale green leaves (to 4” long) throughout the growing season, yellow fall color with late leaf drop, gray-green bark on trunks, and showy red stems in winter. It is native to riverbanks and moist meadows in China, Japan, Korea and southeastern Siberia. This is a dioecious shrub that typically grows to 6-10’ tall. Leaves appear in opposite pairs or whorls of three which is unusual for a willow which normally has alternate leaves. This willow is very similar in appearance to Salix purpurea which is native to Europe, northern Africa and central Asia.
Genus name is an old Latin name for willows.
Specific epithet from Latin means entire.
‘Hakuro-nishiki’ (synonymous with ‘Albo-maculata’), commonly called dappled Japanese willow or variegated willow, is a more compact cultivar that typically grows to 4-6’ tall (less frequently to 10’ tall) and features attractive variegated foliage throughout the growing season. New foliage emerges pink in spring, maturing to variegated shades of pink, creamy white and green. Narrow, lance-shaped leaves (to 4” long) are particularly attractive in spring to early summer, but gradually fade to mostly green as summer progresses. Stems turn red (primarily the new growth stems in Zones 4-5) in fall providing excellent winter interest. All stems turn red in warm winter climates. Trunk does not turn red but remains gray.
‘Hakuro-nishiki’ refers to the blend of colors in the variegated leaves.
Willows are susceptible to numerous disease problems including blights, crown gall, powdery mildew, leaf spots, scab, rust and cankers. Insect pests include aphids, scale, borers, lace bugs, beetles and caterpillars.
Specimen or in small groups. Shrub borders. Excellent selection for edge of a pond, stream or other body of water.