Salix is a large genus of 300 species of deciduous trees and shrubs found worldwide, except in Australia. Willows are normally dioceious; male plants have the most striking catkins. Leaves are simple and usually alternate, while flowers are very small. Some species are cultivated for their weeping habit, others for their colorful winter shoots, still others for their colorful catkins. Size ranges from very large to dwarf.
Noteworthy CharacteristicsFuzzy catkins. Some species have colorful winter shoots or a weeping habit.
CareWillows will grow in any deep, moist but well-drained soil in full sun.
PropagationMost willows are easy to root. Take softwood cuttings in spring, or hardwood cuttings in winter.
ProblemsCrown gall, canker, dieback, root knot nematode, powdery mildew, lesion nematode, mushroom root rot, tar spot, rust, twig blight, and heart rot can occur. Caterpillars, borers, aphids, and scale insects can attack plants.