Black pussy willow

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Boland
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Joined: 2009-09-25
Black pussy willow

Too bizarre! Got this acouple of years ago and now its blooming! Salix gracilistylus 'Melanostachys'

Hoy
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Joined: 2009-12-15

If not a beauty, it is very special. Does it get big, Todd?

Trond
Rogaland, Norway - with cool, often rainy summers  (29C max) and mild, often rainy winters (180 cm/year)!

RickR
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-09-21

I have grown this species since 2001.  Minneapolis, Minnesota seems to be about the coldest reach of its adaptability.  I never get twig die back, but most years there are 1-3 catkin (flower) buds that never open on the ends of the twigs.  mine is a male clone, and the stamens turn from red to yellow (or is in yellow to red?) as they age.  With the black catkin background, it is quite a nice display.  It is mildly susceptible to a canker disease here.

There seems to be some confusion as to whether the willow is cultivar Melanostachys or variety melanostachys.  Many years ago, I came to the conclusion (I don't remember why) that it was a cultivar.  Since then, I bought Christopher Newsholme's book Willows, where he lists it as a variety.

As willows go, this one is not very vigorous for me.  I have never needed to cut it back to contain its size.  At the U of Wisconsin arboretum in Madison (zone 5) I have seen it as a shrub about 8 ft, but from the look of it I suspect it will grow higher.

Salix gracilistylis var. melanostachys

                 

Rick Rodich    zone 4a.    Annual precipitation ~24 inches
near Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA

Hoy
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Joined: 2009-12-15

It is a beauty though, Rick!
I have never seen it for sale here - but I have to admit that I usually don't look twice on Salix in the nurseries.

Trond
Rogaland, Norway - with cool, often rainy summers  (29C max) and mild, often rainy winters (180 cm/year)!

Barstow
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Joined: 2010-08-27

This is one I've seen and taken a fancy to several times in the UK and Southern Sweden (near Malmo). I was given a cutting once, but it didn't make it...

Stephen Barstow
Malvik, Norway
63.4N
Age: Lower end of the 20-25,000 day range

Boland
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Joined: 2009-09-25

The parent plant of my black willow is still only 4 feet.  I expect even tall ones could be copiced to keep them in bounds.

Todd Boland
St. John's, Newfoundland, Canada
Zone 5b
1800 mm precipitation per year

cohan
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Joined: 2011-02-03

I've seen these on SRGCF.. interesting for sure!

west central alberta, canada; just under 1000m; record temps:min -45C/-49F;max 34C/93F; http://picasaweb.google.ca/cactuscactus  http://urbanehillbillycanada.blogspot.com/

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