Salix × boydii

Common Name: Boyds dwarf willow 
Type: Deciduous shrub
Family: Salicaceae
Zone: 4 to 7
Height: 0.50 to 1.00 feet
Spread: 0.50 to 0.75 feet
Bloom Time: April to May
Bloom Description: Yellow
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Medium
Flower: Showy


Grow in moist, sandy to gritty, sharply drained soils in full sun. Tolerates light shade. Avoid dry soils. Prune this dwarf plant only as needed in late winter to early spring.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Salix is a genus of about 300 species of deciduous trees and shrubs located throughout the world except in Australia.

Salix × boydii, commonly called Boyd’s willow, is a very slow-growing, dioecious, deciduous, dwarf shrub with gnarled, persistently-hairy twigs and rounded, rough-textured, prominently-veined, gray-green leaves (to 3/4” long). It matures over time to 12” tall and 8” wide. It infrequently produces yellow female flowering catkins in early spring. This dwarf shrub was discovered by Bill Boyd growing in the wilds of Scotland near Glen Clova in Angus in the 1870's. It has been discovered only once in the wild, and all subsequent cultivated plants have been derived from this original chance hybrid plant discovered by Boyd. Its parents are believed to be Salix lanata (compact bushy shrub to 3’ tall) and Salix reticulata (compact bushy shrub to 5’ tall).

Genus name is the Latin name for this plant.

Specific epithet honors William Boyd who discovered this hybrid.


Plants in the genus Salix are generally susceptible to a number of disease problems including blights, powdery mildew, leaf spots and cankers. Plants are also visited by many insect pests including aphids, scale, borers, lacebugs and caterpillars.


Slow growing dwarf for rock gardens. Troughs.