Salix viminalis – Common Osier (central Europe)
Habit: Broadly upright large shrub or small tree, 2-10 m tall, 4-8 m wide; branches arching upright, twigs diagonal to horizontal, taking root easily on contact with the ground; fast-growing, 50-100 (150) cm a year.
Flowers: Before leaves shoot, shimmering grey, then yellow, catkins, March to April; slightly fragrant.
Leaves: Slenderly lanceolate, 10-15 (20) cm, pale green on top, silvery underneath, falling in November; ornamental foliage.
Roots: Far-reaching, intense, growing into water and developing a dense network; tolerate long floods and covering.
Demands: Sun, likes warmth, frost hardy; wind resistant.
Soil: Moist to damp; sensitive to drought; nutritious, neutral to alkaline substrates with little or no humus.
Note: A classic pollard; takes on bizarre forms when old.
Hardiness: Zone 4