Alphabetical Plant Listing

Salix nigra (Black Willow)

Black Willow, Gulf Black Willow, Swamp Willow, Sauz, Salix ambigua, Salix denudata, Salix dubia, Salix falcata, Salix flavovirens, Salix ligustrina, Salix ludoviciana, Salix nigra var. altissima, Salix nigra var. brevifolia, Salix nigra var. brevijulis, Salix nigra var. falcata, Salix nigra var. lindheimeri, Salix nigra var. longifolia, Salix nigra var. marginata, Salix purshiana


A fast-growing tree, Salix nigra (Black Willow) is a medium to large deciduous tree boasting several trunks topped by a graceful open, spreading to rounded crown with stout branches. In spring and summer, it bears narrow, lanceolate, finely serrate, medium to dark green leaves, 5 in. long (12 cm), tapering to elongate tips. They usually turn greenish-yellow in the fall, before falling to the ground and revealing the silhouette of the tree. Black Willow is dioecious, with male and female flowers appearing in delicate yellowish-green catkins, 2 in. long (5 cm), on separate male and female trees. Blooming in mid to late spring, they give way to reddish-brown capsules with wind-borne seeds. The dark brown bark becomes deeply furrowed with age. The wood is soft and weak, making it susceptible to wind damage. Rather short-lived, Black willow is the largest and only commercially important willow in North America. It makes a spectacular specimen tree near ponds and streams where it can be reflected for double the pleasure. Its shallow, spreading root system makes it a valuable tree for stabilizing soils and it is an excellent species for reducing erosion of stream banks, bars, and islands. Great for attracting wildlife: birds eat the buds and flowering catkins, deer eat the twigs and leaves, and rodents eat the bark and buds.

  • Grows up to 30-60 ft. tall and wide (9-18 m).
  • Performs best in full sun or part shade in consistently moist to wet soils.
  • Easy to grow, easy to care for . Keep an eye out for blights, powdery mildew, leaf spots, crown gall, cankers, willow sawfly, leaf beetles, aphids.
  • Great near streams or ponds. Do not plant this willow near the house or a driveway because of its susceptibility to breakage and roots may clog sewer and water pipes.
  • Propagate by softwood cuttings in early summer or hardwood cuttings in winter
  • Prune as needed in late winter to early spring.
  • Native to North America, Black willow is found throughout the eastern United States, adjacent parts of Canada, and Mexico.

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Requirements

Hardiness 4 – 9
Plant Type Trees
Plant Family Salix - Willows
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Mid,Late)
Summer (Early,Mid,Late)
Fall
Height 30' – 60' (9m – 18m)
Spread 30' – 60' (9m – 18m)
Water Needs Average, High
Maintenance Average
Soil Type Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained, Poorly Drained
Characteristics Showy
Native Plants United States, Midwest, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio, Wisconsin, Northeast, Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Southeast, Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, Southwest, Oklahoma, Texas
Tolerance Wet Soil
Attracts Birds, Butterflies
Garden Uses Ponds and Streams
Garden Styles Prairie and Meadow

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By Gerry Bishop, Shutterstock, Melissa McMasters, Flickr

While every effort has been made to describe these plants accurately, please keep in mind that height, bloom time, and color may differ in various climates. The description of these plants has been written based on numerous outside resources.


Requirements

Hardiness 4 – 9
Plant Type Trees
Plant Family Salix - Willows
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Mid,Late)
Summer (Early,Mid,Late)
Fall
Height 30' – 60' (9m – 18m)
Spread 30' – 60' (9m – 18m)
Water Needs Average, High
Maintenance Average
Soil Type Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained, Poorly Drained
Characteristics Showy
Native Plants United States, Midwest, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio, Wisconsin, Northeast, Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Southeast, Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, Southwest, Oklahoma, Texas
Tolerance Wet Soil
Attracts Birds, Butterflies
Garden Uses Ponds and Streams
Garden Styles Prairie and Meadow

Great Plant Combination Ideas with Salix - Willows

Guides with Salix - Willows

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