|Scientific classification |
It is a deciduous shrub growing to 1–3 m (rarely to 5 m) tall, with purple-brown to yellow-brown shoots, turning pale grey on old stems. The leaves are 2–8 cm (rarely to 12 cm) long and 0.3–1 cm (rarely 2 cm) wide; they are dark green above, glaucous green below, and unusually for a willow, are often arranged in opposite pairs rather than alternate. The flowers are small catkins 1.5-4.5 cm long, produced in early spring; they are often purple or red in colour, whence the name of the species (other willows mostly have whitish, yellow or green catkins).
The weeping cultivar ‘Pendula‘ has gained the Royal Horticultural Society’s Award of Garden Merit. As with several other willows, the shoots, called withies, are often used in basketry. The wood is used in making cricket bats.
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- "Salix purpurea". Natural Resources Conservation Service PLANTS Database. USDA. Retrieved 27 October 2015.
- Flora Europaea: Salix purpurea
- Meikle, R. D. (1984). Willows and Poplars of Great Britain and Ireland. BSBI Handbook No. 4. ISBN 0-901158-07-0.
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- Flora of China: Salix sinopurpurea
- "RHS Plantfinder - Salix purpurea 'Pendula'". Retrieved 12 October 2018.
- "AGM Plants - Ornamental" (PDF). Royal Horticultural Society. July 2017. p. 93. Retrieved 12 October 2018.