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: Deer, Erosion, Wet Soil, Black Walnut
Grow in moist, fertile, well-drained soils in full sun to part shade. Prefers full sun. Thrives in moist soils, but tolerates drier soils better than many other willows. Best foliage color occurs in cooler summer climates north of USDA Zone 7. 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. This cultivar may be trained to grow as a small tree (plants are sometimes sold in a grafted form).
‘Hakuro-nishiki’ (synonymous with ‘Albo-maculata’) is a deciduous shrub with variegated foliage that brings year-round interest to the landscape. New foliage emerges pink in spring, maturing to creamy white and green. Foliage eventually turns yellow in fall with late leaf drop. Pendant yellowish catkins appear in early spring. Stems turn red in winter. Plants typically grow to 4-6’ tall, but can eventually reach 10’ tall or more if stems are not regularly pruned. Branches on young plants grow stiffly outward in all directions, but begin to arch and weep as plants mature. Lance-shaped leaves (to 4” long) are particularly attractive in spring to early summer when pink, white and green colors all appear. ‘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.