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Purple-Osier Willow

Salix purpurea • Purple willow


Purple-osier willow is a deciduous shrub that typically grows 1-3 meters tall. It is native to Europe and western Asia however it is widely planted in Ontario and has escaped cultivation in many locations. It prefers full or partial sun, wet to moist conditions, and soil containing silt-loam. Purple-osier willow can be found in ditches, along streams and lakes, low depressions between sand dunes, alder thickets, fens, and swamps. it is a very fast growing willow, with distinct reddish-purple stems.



Opposite, simple, deciduous; blades dull green and often purplish above with prominent pale mid-veins, paler with whitish bloom beneath, essentially hairless.


Tiny, in axils of small, hairy, blackish bracts; catkins often paired


he bark is smooth, and an attractive reddish purple on young shoots, fading to pale grey as it ages


Densely short-hairy, egg-shaped, plump, stalk-less capsules 2-3 mm long, in catkins 2-3 cm long

186 Trees

Heritage Tree

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