Salix alba x fragilis
‘Flanders Red’ is a robust, deciduous shrub growing to 3 m tall, usually multi-stemmed and bushy. The stems are shiny and waxy-skinned, with a reddish-green base and reddish tips, and drying to an orange colour, making them very ornamental. ‘Flanders Red’ is a very versatile weaving willow. If cultivating for this purpose, the plants should be cut to the ground each year in order to provide pliable stems the following year.
Willows also have medicinal uses (the source of aspirin), and are a useful component of wastewater treatment systems, soil stabilisation and phyto-remediation schemes, as the plants are said to take up heavy metals and other toxic substances. They also produce a huge amount of biomass which can be ‘chopped and dropped’ throughout the season, or put through a wood chipper, in a forest garden or syntropic food forest situation to provide carbon material and mulch for soil improvement.
Willow branches can also be chopped and soaked in water for 24 hours to make a rooting hormone for cuttings. Willows provides excellent bee food in early spring for rearing brood.
Requires a sunny spot and moist soils, and will tolerate very wet soils and periodic flooding. Do not plant near buildings or drains as roots can be invasive.
Certified organic potted plant – please note we do not sell cuttings.