I first spotted the Hakuro Nishi Japanese Willow this spring, as I did not see it last year in my area. It caught my eye at the garden department to see the slender branches gently waving in the breeze with its beautiful tender leaves that were dappled with drops of pink, creamy white and green. I knew then I had to have one.
What It Is
This is part of the willow family aka Salix.
This shrub is a deciduous shrub that is hardy in zones 4-9. The mature height and width is 4-6 feet. It likes full sun. The mounding shrub displays a natural weeping form with new leaves that are variegated. The young branches grow out of the crown in all directions and then start drooping downwards known as the weeping effect. Like all willows it likes moist soil.
The growth rate is fast and is suppose to display in the fall coral and red stems with yellow leaves to contrast with your landscape.
We live in zone 5 where our summers are quite warm and winter is blankets the area with snow all winter in the Pacific Northwest. I planted the willow in our back yard landscaping choosing an area that needed a spot of a different color so it sits between our red Japanese maple and our Golden Vicary shrub. The color is beautiful since the 3 colors display Spring-Fall. I bought this in May and so far it is thriving. It is too soon to see a growth as shrubs take awhile to get their roots into your ground and get over their shock of being out of their containers. The new leaves come out green and creamy white with pink hues that turns more into a darker pink as the leaf matures.
I have seen this in the neighborhood where it appears to be about 2 years old and it is a beautiful rounded drooped shrub giving a very different dramatic effect in the landscaping.
This is a showy shrub and would also look beautiful lining an entryway spacing every 6 feet. If it survives this winter well and it should since it claims to be cold hardy, I do plan to get more next year for the front landscaping as it is very unusual to see and we do get a lot of compliments.
As far as maintenance, it needs to be pruned in late winter; however where we live it will be late fall since late winter everything is covered with snow
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