Salix purpurea  (Purple Osier Willow)

Purple Osier Willow


Bareroot from November to April

Pre-order Online »

Trees & Hedging
You can pre-order these plants from our webshop from 1st June, for delivery mid-November onwards.

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Non-trade pricing

Price £ each (ex. VAT)
Height Age 1+ 25+ 100+ 500+ 1000+
0+1 0.73 0.47 0.42 0.40 0.36
0+1 0.80 0.52 0.46 0.44 0.40

Trade / wholesale enquiries

Discounted trade / wholesale prices are available upon request.
Please contact the office for a quotation or a trade price list.

Minimum order values
Please note that there is a minimum order value of £50.00 + VAT, excluding delivery, for existing customers and £75.00 + VAT, excluding delivery, for new customers. Orders under those values can be placed via Trees & Hedging, our online webshop.


Delivery to UK mainland is included for stock orders over £750 + VAT (subject to postcode surcharges). For full details on delivery, please view our delivery page.


The Purple Osier, or Willow, is an attractive, fast-growing native deciduous shrub with a spreading, bushy habit. Its arching stems are a pronounced reddish purple, giving it year-round interest. The slender leaves are glossy green, with a blue-ish underside, and are seen to best advantage in windy situations when the whole plant brings life and movement to the garden. It makes excellent waterside planting.

Site and soil

Waterside and coastal sites. Does well on sandy and chalky soils as long as they don’t dry out. Tolerant of wet and salty soils, and good in exposed conditions.

Height and spread

After 10 years: 5m x 5m
After 20 years: 5m x 5m

Leaf and bark

The leaves are narrow with a glossy upper surface, blue-grey beneath to 8cm. The bark is smooth, and an attractive reddish purple on young shoots, fading to pale grey as they age.

Flower, seed and fruit

The flowers are silvery-green catkins, about 3cm long, produced in late winter before the leaves appear. The male catkins have conspicuous purple anthers which turn to yellow. The female catkin ripens to a bristly spike, releasing tiny wind-borne seeds in early summer; they need moist soil to germinate.


Screening, windbreak, specimen shrub, waterside planting, coppicing. The Purple Osier is one of the willows grown commercially to produce withies for basket-making and fencing. The first aspirin, still a very effective painkiller was derived from willow bark.


Good for stabilising wet banks and waterside sites. Early pollen and nectar for bees. Supports a number of butterflies and moths, including the Eyed Hawk Moth and the Herald Moth.


The best stem colour is produced on young shoots, so cut back about one-third of the shrub to ground level each winter. Commercial coppicing is carried out in winter.