Dappled Willow (Salix integra ‘Hakuro Nishiki’)

Dappled Willow

  • Variegated Leaves in Spring
  • Red Stems in Winter
  • Easy-Care
  • Versatile
  • Fast Growing

Dappled Willow, (Salix integra ‘Hakuro Nishiki’) produces amazing leaves that are variegated when they are young. In fact, it’s also known as Variegated Willow. Whatever you choose to call it, it will surely become a favorite for you in your landscape.

Here’s why:

You’ll be delighted when the vibrant, distinctive leaves unfurl from the buds in spring with a mottled mix of cream, green and pink colors. As the new growth matures, some of the pink colorations will subside, leaving a creamy white and grayish green variegated leaf.

In summer, the foliage stays a pretty shade of light green. These fine leaves add motion and a beautiful sound element to the landscape as breezes play with them.

This plant also displays good winter interest with coral and red stems that contrasts with the landscape.

How to Use Dappled Willow in the Landscape

Give this plant center stage in your garden. It will act as a beacon to draw attention to special sculptures, birdbaths, water features and more.

Dappled Willow is a superb accent plant and it will be a focal point in beds and borders. Try a long, sinuous ribbon of these gorgeous shrubs winding through the entire length of the garden bed. You’ll create a river of gorgeous color!

You can allow this versatile plant to grow naturally or trim them up for a bit more formality.

Keep them very small by pruning them way back each spring a few inches from the ground. Try them as tidy foundation plantings with a ton of style.

How fun to use Dappled Willows in large containers! Dappled Willows have a nice fine texture and loose and slightly weeping form, if left unpruned.

You’ll adore the way the branches reach up and arch over at the ends. The young branches grow out of the crown in all directions and will begin drooping slightly for a sweetly graceful appearance. Gift yourself this pretty shrub in containers where you can move them around to exactly where you need an extra boost of privacy!

Sometimes you will see them used as a single stem tree with a clear trunk and a rounded shaped top useful for courtyard or small accent trees in the landscape in a high profile area. This is a very effective look.

Use them in their natural form, planted in a gentle curve behind a cozy pair of comfy Andirondack chairs and table. You’ll adore the easy, breezy privacy. Take time to study the wonderful leaves and listen to their murmuring “susurrus” song as the slightest breeze sets them in motion. Simply add a tall glass of iced tea and a really good book. How relaxing!

Now, if you have a naturalized area, let them grow as they will to establish themselves. These plants will grow freely in wet soil, so make wonderful large anchor plants for useful Rain Gardens.

Plant a row of them along a fence line and let them grow as tall as they want as a colorful screen. You’ll really appreciate the added height as they effortlessly grow to create a backyard oasis for you and your family. For this application, space them 5 feet apart (measuring from trunk to trunk.)

Consider using this colorful Willow as a specimen plant to anchor a corner of your house. Early spring pruning each year keeps that new growth colorful and has your Hakuro Nishiki Dappled Willow looking neat and tidy.

This is a colorful, easy to grow shrub with a nice fibrous non aggressive root system that tolerates wets soils better than most, and once established will adapt to drier soils as well.

Any way you decide to use it, they are quite easy to grow.

Tips for Care

This is a deciduous shrub and will lose its leaves in autumn. Winter dormancy is the time when the red stems shine in the landscape.

As they establish themselves in your yard the first year or two, make sure they receive consistent watering. You want to encourage deep root systems.

Prune in early spring to promote its elegant display and variegated foliage. To extend the beautiful season of spring color, simply lightly prune the longest stems through the season. Pruning will encourage colorful new shoots again throughout the growing season.

Staying moderate in height and width, it can be pruned to any size. Like all Willows, it thrives in moist soil. Once your plants are established, Dappled Willows tolerate drier and well-drained soils better than most other Willows. They are easily grown in full sun or in partial shade.

Dappled Willow (Salix integra ‘Hakuro Nishiki’) Details

Common name Dappled Willow
Botanical name Salix integra 'Hakuro Nishiki'
Hardiness zone 4-9
Growth rate Fast
Height 4 - 6 ft.
Width 4 - 6 ft.
Sunlight Full Sun, Partial Shade
Soil condition Widely Adaptable
Pollinator-friendly Yes
Flower color Yellow
Leaf color Variegated Green