Click the Play arrow to hear Paul Parent and David Wilson as they discussed Salis ‘Flamingo’ on the The Paul Parent Garden Club radio show (April 22, 2007).
Salix integra ‘Flamingo’, commonly known as Dappled Willow, with its amazing foliage color, graceful growth habit, and easy to grow and care for nature is a wonderful, colorful shrub that will bring your garden alive with shades of pink, white, and light apple green.
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This stunning shrub brings a lot of fresh, long lasting, weather resistant color to the garden. Here is a brief synopsis of why we think so much of it:
As it leafs out in late spring, the tips of the young shoots emerge a brilliant pink, while older leaves closer to the stems remain soft green and dappled white. This vibrant range of color produced on the young shoots is carried all over the entire plant to make a spectacular, eye-catching display that blends easily with other plants in the garden.
The main season of color lasts for several weeks from late spring to early summer, and with timely trimming (see my notes on culture, below), this can be extended well into midsummer. Salix integra ‘Flamingo’ PPAF will also provide color and interest at other times of the year, too. In early spring, before the leaves emerge, mature shoots will sprout slender, yellow catkins. Later on — mid-summer into autumn — the leaves will mature to muted shades of dappled white and apple green. Even when the plant is dormant it isn't finished, for the bright red, polished stems on trimmed plants will shine and sparkle in the winter landscape.
Hardy to Zone 5
Sun to partial shade
4’-6’ (with trimming)
This is an easy and accommodating plant to grow, thriving well in most soils but doing best in moist, fertile ones that are rich in organic matter. Adding plenty of compost at planting time and mulching to help retain moisture in the soil will encourage lots of luxuriant and colorful growth.
Follow a regular watering schedule during the first growing season to establish a good root system; supplement if necessary during any dry periods, and you will find that it is an easy and reliable keeper.
The brightly colored foliage is most intense on new growth, so shearing back the shoots as they begin to mature brings renewed bursts of color. This can be done at least twice during the season and is a good way of encouraging lots of long lasting, fresh, colorful foliage. It also keeps the plants neat and tidy; with regular trimming, the bushy growth can be maintained at manageable heights of 4 to 6 feet tall and about the same wide. It responds well to pruning. If needed, it can be cut back more severely in winter or early spring. This will promote vigorous new growth which can then be trimmed again in late spring to promote bushiness, color, and shape.
It is a superb accent and focal point in beds and borders, front gardens, foundation plantings, and anywhere that the color and bushy shape can be enjoyed. It is ideal for planting near water features such as pools, ponds or streams, and naturalized areas. It is a wonderful way to bring color to containers, too. One of our plants placed inside a decorative container brings instant, easy color to a deck, patio, or doorstep.
Salix integra ‘Flamingo’ PPAF was found as a sport in 1996 by Mr. Peter Bontekoe, a specialist grower of willows in The Netherlands. After conducting many trials on his nursery and at the Boskoop Ornamental Research Station, it was named and exhibited at the professional nursery show Plantarium in August 2004. Understandably, it has become popular in a short time and is enjoyed by hundreds of thousands of gardeners all over Europe. Rick Sorensen, of Pride of Place Plants (British Columbia), "flew in" the first plants to North America, and it is from him that we got our hatchlings.
Here's a shrub that's very colorful, easy to grow and look after, doesn't suffer from any major pests and diseases, and will give you years of pleasure.
Salix integra ‘Flamingo’ PPAF is in stock now, so how about stopping in soon and picking up one or two, or maybe a whole flock! After all, it's not every day that you can raise flamingos in your garden!
Until next time, remember.... Enjoy your gardening. It's good for you!