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- Author or Editor: Irina V. Belyaeva x
Salix gracilistyla Miq., japanese pussy willow or rosegold willow, is an ornamental shrub commonly cultivated for its prominent display of catkins in early spring. Verification of stocks of willows in the North American landscape nursery trade revealed that another name—Salix chaenomeloides Kimura—is associated frequently with plants similar to S. gracilistyla. Morphological analyses conducted during this study have shown that the S. chaenomeloides binomial is misapplied often to S. gracilistyla, its cultivars and hybrids. A comparison of the diagnostic characters of S. gracilistyla and S. chaenomeloides is presented to explain the differences between these taxa and to promote the adoption of the correct names. Five cultivars of S. gracilistyla valued for their early spring catkin displays, variegated foliage, and pendulous habits, and two cultivars of a hybrid origin are summarized. Also, two new ornamental cultivars called Salix ‘Winter Glory’ and Salix ‘Rabbit’s Foot’ are described.