Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Dwarf Blue Arctic Willow, Dwarf Purpleosier, Dwarf Purple Osier, Purple Willow
Salix purpurea

Family: Salicaceae (sal-i-KAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Salix (SAL-iks) (Info)
Species: purpurea (pur-PUR-ee-uh) (Info)
Additional cultivar information: (aka Nana)

Synonym:Salix purpurea var. nana
Synonym:Salix purpurea f. gracilis

3 vendors have this plant for sale.

7 members have or want this plant for trade.

View this plant in a garden


8-10 ft. (2.4-3 m)

4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)

USDA Zone 4a: to -34.4 C (-30 F)
USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 C (-25 F)
USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)
USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)
USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)
USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)
USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)
USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)
USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

Sun Exposure:
Sun to Partial Shade

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:

Bloom Time:


Other details:
Very high moisture needs; suitable for bogs and water gardens

Soil pH requirements:
Unknown - Tell us

Patent Information:
Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:
From woody stem cuttings

Seed Collecting:
Unknown - Tell us

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to view:

By tcfromky
Thumbnail #1 of Salix purpurea by tcfromky


6 positives
2 neutrals
1 negative

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive ldrosellini On Aug 8, 2014, ldrosellini from Fairfield, ID
United States wrote:

I have planted two Dwarf Willows and have had nothing but success. After a couple of years in the ground a portion of the limbs would die out which I merely cleaned out with pruning shears. I live in zone 3 with severe winters, but they doe just fine. One of the trees was dug up and moved, wherein most of the tree did not respond, so it was then cut to the ground whereupon it grew back very nicely. They are a lovely addition to my garden.

Positive PrincessLoki On Jun 11, 2014, PrincessLoki from Ephrata, WA wrote:

I was surprised that Walmart had these. I just love all willows! I bought 5 of them and planted them in a 24hr sunny location. Out where I live I am cursed with heavily rocky ground and clay for 2ft down then it goes into very course sand. And the rocks are so bad if you don't dig a large hole and take out the rocks. Every plant, tree, bush you plant will become root bound! Plus because 2feet down is nothing but course sand the water drains so fast anything planted that doesn't soak up the water fast enough will burn in the sun like you never watered! All but my willows! They may require allot of water. But they grow deep and expanding roots. Which is why I've taken out the sickly abravita bushes and replacing them with these beautiful dwarf arctic willows:) it been but one week and they've already put out 1inch of new growth. I'm very happy with this verity and plan on buying many more.

Positive cedarswing On Jun 9, 2010, cedarswing from Cedar Rapids, IA (Zone 5a) wrote:

Planted two of these in the back yard. Full sun, full exposure to Z5a winter winds. Killed the grass around them for the first 2 yrs and they grew like willows typically do. Very fast. Started with a 18" tall 3-4 stalk starter bush and after 4 yrs it's 4' X 4' wispy and beautiful. Have not sheared at all, and it's staying round and globular.

Has a potential to attract bag worms... keep close eye on it in June. Pick off any bags you find or they will quickly defoliate the entire thing and move on to other bushes in the area like arborvitae. Can treat with Seven dust also.

Thinking of planting a row on the west side of a shade garden for windbreak.

Negative bookreportgrid On May 22, 2008, bookreportgrid from Maineville, OH wrote:

As far as aesthetics go, the plant is beautiful. However, it is one of the most greedy and aggressively rooting plants I've ever seen. Roots will go well beyond 10 feet from the drip line of the plant, making any gardening around it difficult. It also makes it difficult to grow anything that has a high water needs.

If you want to plant some off by themselves, go for it. If you want to plant anything remotely near it, beware.

Positive TerriCinMO On May 22, 2006, TerriCinMO from Pleasant Hill, MO (Zone 5b) wrote:

We have these willows around an inground pool here in West Central Missouri and they do great. They're in full sun and seem to do fine even during our spells of 100+ heat and humidity in the summers with daily watering.

Neutral lilystorm On Sep 6, 2005, lilystorm from San Jose, CA wrote:

Mine seems rather unhappy in its full sun location. I'm going to try it in a more shaded location. I'm wondering if it's too hot and dry here in San Jose for the willow.

Neutral theresamendoza On Jan 17, 2005, theresamendoza from Hesperia, CA (Zone 8a) wrote:

I live in zone 8a. My Blue Willow Salix is without leaves at this time. I don't think it's dead but we have had some extra cold days with lots of rain which I thought my plant would love. It was just leafing out after losing all of it's leaves while we went on vacation this past July. It was too hot and it probably didn't get enough water. At this point, I don't think it's going to make it in Hesperia, Ca. or it's always going to be on the fring of survival.

Positive DeeGoods On Aug 8, 2003, DeeGoods from Saint Clair Shores, MI wrote:

This is one of my favorites. The leaves and branches are so soft, very whispery. We have it in a semi-sun area, the leaves are very blue. This bush adds a lot of texture.
Requires no maintenance at all, it has stayed nice a compact and full. I'm in Zone 5

Positive tcfromky On May 27, 2003, tcfromky from Mercer, PA (Zone 5a) wrote:

More info on this shrub can be found on the USDA's PLANTS database.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Anchorage, Alaska
Fairfield, California
Parma, Idaho
Chicago, Illinois
North Aurora, Illinois
Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Pacific Junction, Iowa
Ferrysburg, Michigan
Saint Clair Shores, Michigan
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Pleasant Hill, Missouri
Maineville, Ohio
Riverton, Utah
Ames Lake, Washington
East Port Orchard, Washington
Ephrata, Washington
Mount Vernon, Washington
Pullman, Washington
Charleston, West Virginia
Deerfield, Wisconsin

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