Kilmarnock Willow Salix caprea ‘Kilmarnock’

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Kilmarnock Willow Salix caprea ‘Kilmarnock’
This dwarf pussy willow has year round interest with its beautiful weeping habit and fuzzy catkins. The male clone has the large (1 ½ to 2 inch) attractive catkins that appear silvery white at first and then appear golden yellow as the anthers develop later in spring before the leaves emerge. The foliage is dark green with gray-green underside in summer. The female clone is called ‘Weeping Sally’ and is not as showy as the male. The shoots of both clones are stiffly weeping and form a dense head. Pendulous branches are usually grafted on the erect stems of other willows so the height of the tree is determined by the height of the graft. Plants grown on their own roots form a 24” tall bush and grow along the ground. This is an ideal tree for a small garden, does well in containers, and can be used for bonsai.
Type: Weeping deciduous tree.
Outstanding Feature: Weeping habit; catkins.
Form: Rounded mound
Growth Rate: Moderate to rapid.
Bloom: Male catkins in spring, white at first becoming golden.

Size: 6’T x 4 ½’W

Light: Full sun to dappled shade.
Soil: Moist, well drained; pH 4.5-8.
Fertilizer: Incorporate well rotted compost into the soil when planting.
Hardiness: Zones 4-8.
Care: Low maintenaince; remove broken, diseased, or crossing branches in autumn or winter
Pests and Diseases: Susceptible to scale insects, rust, leaf spot, caterpillars and aphids.
Propagation: Grafted.
Comments: Tolerant of deer, pollution, rabbits, and seashore.

Fr good site for trees.

Pussy Willow ‘Kilmarnock’: (Salix caprea) Full sun Hardy in zones 4-8. “Kilmarnock’ is the most common pussy willow cultivar for garden use. It is a male clone, the similar female clone is ‘Weeping Sally”. ‘Pendula’, for weeping, is often attached to the cultivar name. Branches are stiffly weeping, and beautiful in winter when covered with catkins. The male catkins are a quite showy, 1 1/2-2 inch silvery white, followed by golden anthers in April and May. Fine green foliage follows. They are grafted on erect stems of other willow, so the height is determined by the height of the trunk on which it was grafted. They are generally sold as a small tree, the taller ones are generally marketed as a large full standard. If sold on it’s own roots, it will creep across the ground. Mature height of the actual bush is 18-24 inches. Pussy Willow is fast growing, prefers moist soil conditions, and adapts to pH. Will grow well in a large container and transplants easily. Will also tolerate some shade. Ideal for wet open sites. Drawbacks in a garden or landscape: prone to insect, disease and canker problems; suckers; constant “litter” under the tree; and prone to wind and ice limb breakage.

Salix caprea

( Kilmarnock Willow )

This is a lovely weeping small tree or medium shrub that is usually grafted on a standard. The size is variable depending on the height at which it was grafted. Shoots are yellowish-brown, with broad-elliptic to oblong leaves, deep green on top, underside pubescent and grayish-green, 2"-4" long. Produces long, gray, male catkins with bright yellow anthers, to 1 1/4" long, borne in early spring.

How to Grow this Plant:



Kilmarnock', 'Pendula  




Height: 0 ft. to 6 ft.
Width: 0 ft. to 6 ft.  

Plant Category:

shrubs, trees,  

Plant Characteristics:


Foliage Characteristics:


Foliage Color:

blue-green to gold, dark green,  

Flower Characteristics:


Flower Color:



deer, pollution, rabbits, seashore, slope,  


Bloomtime Range:

Mid Spring to Mid Spring  

USDA Hardiness Zone:

6 to 8  

AHS Heat Zone:

Not defined for this plant  

Light Range:

Dappled to Full Sun  

pH Range:

4.5 to 8  

Soil Range:

Some Sand to Some Clay  

Water Range:

Normal to Moist  

  • A dwarf, weeping tree with dark green leaves with grey-green undersides. In mid- to late spring, the bare branches are covered in golden male catkins, which superb in cut-flower arrangements. An ideal tree for the small garden or even planted in a pot on the patio.

  • Garden care: Requires minimal pruning. Remove any broken, diseased or crossing branches in late autumn or winter. When planting incorporate lots of well-rotted garden compost in the planting.

 small number of cultivars have been selected for garden use. The most common is S. caprea 'Kilmarnock', with stiffly pendulous shoots, forming a mop-head; it is a male clone. A similar female clone is S. caprea 'Weeping Sally'. As they do not form a leader, they are grafted on erect stems of other willows; the height of these cultivars is determined by the height at which the graft is made.[2] Plants can also be grown from greenwood cuttings make attractive creeping mounds. Hardwood cuttings are often difficult to root.

This plant is a deciduous tree. It is notable for its striking stem colour, catkins and foliage. Popular small tree grown for its habit and catkins. 

It's shape is described as weeping. It grows to a height of 2m and 2m in width. It has slender foliage that is dark green. It produces flowers . 

This hardy plant grows with a strong and distinct shape and grows into a large and dominant plant. It requires a moist and rich soil, preferring full sun, and a position free standing, in water or by the side of water. This plant is likely to need staking.  It is susceptible to and should be protected from scale insects, rust, leaf spot, caterpillars and aphids.

Kilmarnock Willow, Weeping Goat Willow, Weeping Pussy Willow          SA-liks KAP-ree-a

  • Deciduous shrub or even a ground cover, but usually grafted on a standard at about 6 ft (1.8 m) and forming a small, weeping tree with a dense head of stiff, yellow-brown, pendulous shoots.  Leaves alternate, simple, elliptic, to about 10 cm long, margin toothed, dark green above and gray-green below, foliage yellow-green in fall.  A male plant, and gray catkins studded with yellow anthers appear in mid to late spring before the leaves emerge.

  • Sun and partial shade.

  • Hardy to USDA Zone 4    Some wholesale nurseries propagate the trees from cuttings and support the trunk until it is strong enough to support itself.  Branches are prevented from developing until a height of about 6 ft is reaches.

  • There is some confusion in the labeling of this tree.  According to several, but not all, sources, S. caprea ‘Kilmarnock’ is a male tree which produces silvery-gray catkins in spring.  It was introduced into commerce in 1853 by Thomas Lang of Kilmarnock, Ayrshire, Scotland.  For the most part, S. caprea ‘Pendula’ is a synonym.  However, Dirr (1998) states that there are both male and female clones sold as ‘Kilmarnock’, and that the female clone is more common in the U.S.  The female clone may well be the plant named ‘Weeping Sally’, a clone in cultivation since about 1880, but named in 1976.  The female clone is considered more vigorous but "less effective in flower" (Jacobson, 1996).

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