Alaska Blue Willow
Native to (or naturalized in) Oregon:
- Broadleaf deciduous shrub/tree, 8-10+ ft (2.4-3 m). Leaves alternate, occasionally opposite, simple, slender, 5-10 cm x 0.3-0.8 cm, lustrous dark blue-green above and pale or glaucous below. Slender branches, tough, purplish at first, finally light gray Supple stems are used in basket making.
- Sun. Good for wet areas, especially to stabilize banks along streams.
- Hardy to USDA Zone 3 Native to Europe, northern Africa to central Asia and Japan. Salix purpurea and another Eurasian willow, Salix viminalis, have long rod-like stems and are highly prized for basketry. The term, osier, refers to those willows with pliable twigs that are used for furniture and basketry.
- A few cultivars are available, including a ‘Nana’, a dwarf form.
- purpurea: purple, a reference to the young stems