Table of contents:
- Whole-leaved willow "Hakuro Nishiki"
- Willow "Flamingo"
- Ash willow "Tricolor"
- Which willow is more beautiful - "Tricolor" or "Hakuro Nishiki"?
Video: The Variegated Willows In My Garden Are Beautiful At Any Time Of The Year. Types And Varieties, Planting And Care, Photo
2023 Author: Ava Durham | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-05-24 11:58
Willow is an extremely diverse tree species. Willows can be giants, reaching 40 meters in height, and dwarfs, whose creeping branches barely rise above the ground. These plants are not only weeping but also globular, erect and creeping shrubs or trees. The palette of colors of willow leaf blades is no less wide. In my summer cottage with moist soil, a whole collection of decorative willows with various bush shapes and foliage colors has formed. Each species and variety has its own special appeal. But my favorites are the unique variegated willows, whose leaf blades combine three colors and their shades at once: light green, white and pale pink.
- Whole-leaved willow "Hakuro Nishiki"
- Willow "Flamingo"
- Ash willow "Tricolor"
- Which willow is more beautiful - "Tricolor" or "Hakuro Nishiki"?
Whole-leaved willow "Hakuro Nishiki"
The most popular and commercially available variety of variegated willow. Those who have never met this willow, from a distance, can easily confuse "Hakuro Nishiki" (Salix integra 'Hakuro Nishiki') with a flowering shrub covered with pink and white flowers. Nearby, numerous thin arcuate shoots, covered with small multi-colored leaves, resemble the streams of a fabulous fountain. The appearance of this willow is changeable and in different periods of time it is attractive in its own way.
In the off-season, the shrub adorns the garden with delicate branches of purple color. In early spring, small, but quite noticeable earrings with a slight aroma appear on it. And the maximum peak of Hakuro Nishiki's decorativeness reaches from May to mid-June. At this time, the foliage on young shoots becomes bright white, and under the influence of sunlight at the ends of young shoots, it turns into pink.
Thus, on the bush, one can observe the simultaneous presence of three colors at once, and these colors are not in their pure form, but their numerous shades from pinkish to bright pink, from white to cream, from green to light green.
As the young foliage "matures", pink tones cease to be present in the crown, and the area of white markings becomes smaller, however, the tree does not become monotonous.
After the peak of decorativeness, from July to autumn, willow leaf blades are covered with a net pattern in the form of thin cream veins on a light green background. Even in such a modest outfit, the ivushka continues to decorate the site. The hemispherical crown favorably contrasts with plants with a heavier habit, becoming a restrained backdrop for flowering perennials.
The autumn color of the willow has no particular decorative effect, but when the pale yellow foliage falls off, the beautiful crown with crimson branches again begins to decorate the garden. To prolong the presence of pink tones, it is necessary to stimulate growth by regular pruning.
In the middle lane, the whole-leaved willow, as a rule, does not exceed 2-2.5 meters, while it is such a lush and spreading shrub that the diameter of the crown often reaches three meters in width and more. On average, the annual growth of the shrub is about half a meter, but in hotel years, especially after severe frosting, young branches can grow up to 1.5 meters in height.
Choosing a place for the willow "Hakuro Nishiki"
As you know, the most strongly pink color in leaf blades is manifested under the influence of ultraviolet radiation, so a sunny place is the key to maximum decorativeness of the willow "Hakuro Nishiki".
Often, it is the planting of this variety in partial shade that leads to disappointment of summer residents and accusations of sellers of deception, because the purchased seedlings do not turn pink at all. If the willow planting site is chosen incorrectly, then it is better to transplant the young tree.
This type of willow can be transplanted very easily. For example, we successfully transplanted a three-year-old bush, which, due to its rapid growth, has already reached 1.5 meters in height.
Special soil preparation on moderately fertile soil is not required, since it is a very hardy and unpretentious plant. The only condition is high soil moisture, which is achieved either when planting on the shore of a reservoir, or by regular watering. In a drought with a lack of moisture, the willow "Hakuro Nishiki" folds its leaves.
How the Hakuro Nishiki willow winters
In the southern regions, thickets of whole-leaved willow can be found in the wild along the banks of rivers and streams. For example, we met such a willow in the foothills of Karachay-Cherkessia. But in the middle lane, this variety does not grow.
The Hakuro Nishiki all-leaved willow hybrid is not particularly winter-hardy as its wild ancestor. And, according to the international classification, it belongs to the 5th zone of frost resistance, that is, it can withstand temperatures not lower than -28.9 ° C. In winter, in the middle lane, for which plants of the 4 zones are more suitable, the temperatures are much lower.
According to the observations of gardeners of the Moscow region, the willow "Hakuro Nishiki" every time after winter comes out with frozen branches, the percentage of which depends on how low the temperatures dropped. Summer residents living north of Moscow (Kostroma region, etc.) can grow this willow exclusively in the form of a coppice crop, since the branches are annually frozen by the level of snow, but it quickly recovers, increasing the shoots from the stump.
In the Voronezh region, this willow feels quite tolerable, and within the city, due to the microclimate, it may not even freeze up, but in summer cottages, where the winds are walking, frozen tips are observed annually.
At my dacha, every spring I find this willow slightly frozen. After one particularly severe winter, several very large old branches froze to death on the tree, the bush looked sad, and only the shoots grown from the root collar had a characteristic pink color.
Fortunately, the regenerative ability of this willow is so strong that by the middle of June "Hakuro Nishiki" is covered with many young shoots and again turns into a fluffy, cheerful plant, not the slightest trace of its winter damage remains.
After a case with severe frosting of willow, I made an attempt to cover the tree with several layers of dense non-woven material. But in the end, it turned out that the covered shoots started to grow earlier and suffered from the spring return frosts. Therefore, this willow now remains to winter without shelter.
On my site, a self-rooted willow grows, grown independently from a tiny cuttings, but there are often specimens grafted on a bole on sale. Thanks to the bright cap of spherical branches placed on the slender stem of the rootstock, such a willow is like a lollipop and just begs to go to the garden.
However, this option is reliable only in the southern regions, and in temperate climates growing "Hakuro Nishiki" on a trunk is a risky business. After a particularly harsh winter, the bush form will have high chances of recovering from the stump, because the snow protected the root collar from frost, and the standard tree, whose grafting is open to all winds, has very low chances of salvation.
Personally, for me, the distinction between the whole-leaved willow into two independent varieties has always raised questions. Isn't the flamingo willow (Salix integra 'Flamingo') the usual twin of Hakuro Nishiki? Visually, it is very difficult to distinguish any fundamental differences between the two varieties.
Curiosity prompted me to turn to Western sources, and, as it turned out, in English-language materials, both names are referred to as synonyms. In addition, there is also an indication that gardeners often call the willow "Hakuro Nishiki" as "Flamingo" for its bright pink color, reminiscent of the plumage of this exotic bird.
Thus "Flamingo" is the popular name for the variety "Hakuro Nishiki". For what reasons it is often given out as an independent variety, one can only guess, perhaps it all started with elementary confusion. But, probably, there is also commercial interest here, because there is a high probability that someone will want to plant both varieties, and then they will acquire two seedlings at once, instead of one.
Some gardeners note that the flamingo willow has a more pronounced pink color. However, this is most likely due to the amount of sun that a particular shrub has received, as well as slight variations within one variety.
In any case, planting and caring for the willow "Hakuro Nishiki" and "Flamingo", as well as the degree of their winter hardiness are identical and do not require separate consideration.
Ash willow "Tricolor"
Ash willow (Salix cinerea), sometimes also called gray willow or "black-leaf", is widespread in the wild. Due to its high winter hardiness, it can be found in the middle lane, where it grows in swampy places, near water sources, along with other types of willows.
The leaves of this willow are dull green, the reverse side is grayish (due to the fact that the leaf blade is covered with velvety felt), it looks like it is slightly sprinkled with ash, which is why the name of the species comes from.
Ash willow is a branched shrub with a height of 3 to 6 meters, which grows relatively slowly. Varietal form "Tricolor" ('Tricolor') often goes on sale in the standard form, and in this case the height of the plant will depend on the height of the grafting site on the rootstock.
This willow has very thin and flexible shoots that form a spherical crown. The ash willow variety "Tricolor" is valued for its variegated foliage; in May-June, the crown of this tree becomes green-creamy-pink tricolor. The youngest leaves are raspberry-pink in color, in addition, there are lightened creamy areas on the foliage, which are originally combined with the main greenish-ash background.
In summer, the color is no longer so bright, and the foliage becomes more marbled (light streaks on a green background). In shape, the leaf blade of an ash willow is obovate, that is, along the contour it resembles the outline of an egg, and the leaves are attached to the petiole with a narrow end.
The Tricolor willow blooms in April. During this period, thin twigs adorn numerous fluffy catkins, at first they have a silvery tint, then turn yellow.
How the Triclor willow winters
The frost resistance of the natural species (ash willow) is very high (zone 3 - up to -40 degrees), but the varietal form is a little more thermophilic and belongs to the 4th zone, that is, it can withstand frosts down to -34.4 degrees. Based on these data, the ash willow "Tricolor" can be safely grown in the gardens of the middle lane both in bush and standard form without additional shelter, without fear that it will suffer from frost.
At my summer cottage, the Tricolor willow, grafted onto a 1.5 meter bole (on the goat willow stock), has been growing for the third year already, and survived last winter without visible damage.
Choosing a planting site and caring for the Tricolor willow
Like all variegated willows, the varietal form of the Tricolor ash willow needs a sunny location that allows it to show its amazing coloration in full splendor. In partial shade, the tree will develop well, but pink tones may not appear.
Like all types of willows, ash willow prefers wet places, if it is impossible to find such conditions in the garden, then the tree will have to be regularly watered.
In terms of the mechanical composition of the soil, willow is not demanding, and it will grow well on clay, peat and sandy soils (it even tolerates acidic soil), additional dressing is not required.
In order for the tree to look more variegated and keep its shape, it must be trimmed, because the brightest pattern is on young shoots, the appearance of which will be stimulated by a haircut.
Which willow is more beautiful - "Tricolor" or "Hakuro Nishiki"?
With the advent of variegated ash willow in nurseries, gardeners started talking about the fact that the Tricolor willow could replace the thermophilic Hakuro Nishiki. However, despite many similarities, these trees cannot be called twins.
If you see two seedlings of these varieties side by side, then the visual differences of cultivars become obvious. First of all, these willows have different leaf shapes. The whole-leaved willow "Hakuro Nishiki" has a lanceolate leaf, that is, a narrow oblong leaf with a pointed tip and base. Ash willow leaf is wider and, as mentioned above, has an obovate shape. The texture of the leaf surface also differs: smooth and silky in Hakuro Nishiki and rough, matte in Tricolor willow.
Due to the fact that the ash willow has larger and thicker rough leaves, this gives the appearance of the tree more heaviness in comparison with the light and airy "Hakuro Nishiki".
Even the variegation of each of the willows manifests itself in its own way. Young leaves of both species turn bright pink in late spring and early summer. But in the whole-leaved willow, this shade is soft pink and is really similar to the plumage of a flamingo. While the color of ash willow can be described as crimson red.
Separate areas of the leaf blade of "Hakuro Nishiki" are whitened to a boiling white color, while the willow "Tricolor" is more likely to have a cream or yellowish tint. Towards the middle of summer, the pattern of both willows tends to marble (green with light veins), and the pink tones completely disappear. But such marbling on the light green leaves of "Hakuro Nishiki" and the bluish ash willow looks completely different.
The crown of these varieties also differs: the adult trees of the whole-leaved willow resemble a fountain, thanks to the thin arcuate curved branches. And the willow crown "Tricolor" is spherical without such bends. The earrings of the willow "Hakuro Nishiki" are not very decorative, but the male earrings near the ash willow will quite serve as a garden decoration in spring. But the latter cannot boast of the same bright purple bark as the whole-leaved willow.
Of course, everyone must decide for himself which variety of variegated willow to buy for the garden due to climatic conditions and personal preferences, but, for my taste, "Hakuro Nishiki" is more spectacular, while the "Tricolor" willow is slightly rough, albeit ugly. cannot be named.
Both of these willows grow in my garden, and each is dear to me in its own way, and for each there was a role and a suitable field of application.