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Salix gracilistyla ‘Melanostachys’

For sale by Bluebell Nursery

This grower is sure of this plant identification.

An eye-catching willow, Salix gracilistyla 'Melanostachys' has spectacular red anthered, black catkins in late winter and early spring. These are very handsome and much sought after for use in flower arranging.

An excellent large shrub which looks particularly good next to a stream or pond. For the best catkin display we would recommend pruning this plant hard back every 3 - 4 years.

Supplied Size: 3L containers (40 - 60 cm tall)

Copyright 2013 © Bluebell Arboretum & Nursery

Salix gracilistyla  ‘Melanostachys’ | Ashby De La Zouch, Derbyshire, LE65
Salix gracilistyla  ‘Melanostachys’ | Ashby De La Zouch, Derbyshire, LE65
Salix gracilistyla  ‘Melanostachys’ | Ashby De La Zouch, Derbyshire, LE65
Pot SizeTotal Price
3 litres

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Grower Notes

Position: Full sun or partial shade.
Soil: Any fertile soil. Salix gracilistyla 'Melanostachys' enjoys damp or wet soils.
Hardiness: Hardy.
Rate of Growth: Moderate to vigorous.
Habit: Salix gracilistyla 'Melanostachys' grows to be a large branching shrub with a rounded crown if left unpruned.
Height: 3 m (10 ft)
Spread: 3 m (10 ft)

Notes: Salix gracilistyla 'Melanostachys' makes an effective garden plant if pruned back to 30 cm (1 ft) above the ground each spring or every two years before coming into leaf. This reduces the end size and encourages it to produce vigorous upright stems with a superb display of black catkins.

Plant Finder: about Salix gracilistyla ‘Melanostachys’

Common names

Black Willow


Salix gracilistyla ‘Melanostachys’ (Black Willow). This is a bushy shrub with oval, glossy leaves that are grey and hairy when young. Black catkins with orange-red anthers that open in early spring and then turn yellow as they mature.


Does not grow in shallow chalk soil. Prune back to 30cms every winter to keep as a small shrub and to encourage young growth and a good display of catkins.

Interest and use

Grown for the interesting catkins, which are used by flower arrangers, as well as its habit. Attracts bees.

Italics = data drawn from parent genus or species

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Salix gracilistyla  ‘Melanostachys’ | Ashby De La Zouch, Derbyshire, LE65 | Copyright Greenplantswap 2020
  • LightFull sun or Part shade
  • HardinessFully hardy (min -15°C)
  • SoilWell drained, Fertile
  • Soil pH7.0 to 9.0
  • WaterMoist

Meet the grower

Ashby De La Zouch, Derbyshire, LE65
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