Salix udensis 'Sekka'

Common Name: willow 
Type: Deciduous shrub
Family: Salicaceae
Zone: 4 to 7
Height: 10.00 to 15.00 feet
Spread: 10.00 to 20.00 feet
Bloom Time: March to April
Bloom Description: Silver-gray with yellow anthers
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium to wet
Maintenance: Medium
Suggested Use: Hedge, Rain Garden
Flower: Showy
Tolerate: Deer, Erosion, Wet Soil, Black Walnut


Grow in average, medium to wet soils in full sun to part shade. Prefers moist soils in full sun.

‘Sekka’ must be propagated by grafting or cutting. Some newly developed plants may take 3-4 years before the unique stem fasciation begins to appear.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Salix udensis is a large, rounded, multi-stemmed, deciduous large shrub to small tree that typically matures to 20-30’ tall with an upright, spreading habit. It is native to Japan and far eastern Russia including the Sakhalin Islands. Twigs are hoary brown. Narrow lanceolate leaves (to 4-6” long) are dark green above but blue-green and slightly hairy beneath, with entire to wavy margins. Male catkins (to 1 1/2” long) and shorter female catkins appear in early spring. This species was formerly known as Salix sachalinensis.

Genus name is the Latin name for this plant.

Specific epithet is in probable reference to the Ulan-Ude area of eastern Siberia.

Salix udensis 'Sekka', commonly called Japanese fantail willow, is a large, rounded, deciduous, multi-stemmed shrub which typically grows 10-15' tall with an upright, spreading habit. 'Sekka' is an all-male cultivar which is most noted for its flattened and contorted branchlets which are sometimes used in floral arrangements. Silvery-gray, 1.5" long male catkins with yellow anthers appear along reddish-purple stems in early spring before the foliage emerges. Narrow, lance-shaped leaves (to 2" long) are bright green above and silvery green below. Synonymous with Salix sachalinensis 'Sekka'.

‘Sekka’ may honor Kamisaka Sekka, 19th-20th century Japanese artist.


Willows in general are susceptible to numerous foliar diseases, blights and cankers and many insect pests including aphids, scale and borers. Plants should be protected in winter with netting to discourage browsing by deer.


The straight species is infrequently grown as a landscape plant. Although it is a good selection for moist soils along streams, ponds or in low spots where other shrubs or small trees may falter, the straight species is infrequently sold in commerce because of the popularity of the fasciated form ‘Sekka’.

Sekka’s fasciated stems are popular inclusions in flower arrangements.