Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Salix koriyanagi 'Rubykins'

This is the second post in a series about my willows.
Salix koriyanagi 'Rubykins' is at this point my favourite willow variety.

In my field, growing in very heavy - wet to moist - clay they grow to 7-9 feet in one season. The rods are slender and sway gracefully in the breeze, showcasing the beautiful colours of the leaves.
According to Christopher Newsholme in his book Willows, The Genus Salix, Salix koriyanagi is of Korean origin and is extensively grown in Japan for fine basketry. I am not sure, however, how commonly it is cultivated for basketry in North America or Europe, but I really like the plant and the dried rods are flexible and of a light grayish green colour. As I used pretty much all my harvest last year of this variety for propagation, I am looking forward to working with it next spring, both as dried material for weaving and for living willow creations. This is the variety that I used for the harlequin woven tree in "Repairing the Willow Tree". This is what it looks like today, standing in front of the barn:
In the field 'Rubykins' stands tall and healthy and this year's new planting will already at the end of this growing season deliver a few, shorter, very slender rods usable for some fine weaving.The photo is from September 1st and the plants have grown a bit since then.

Rubykins is very easy to recognize in the field with it's unique colours and appearance. The branches are glabrous pale green with leaves dark green above with an almost white mid-rib and glaucous underneath. The leaves at the tips of the branches are pinkish, copper like in colour.


  1. I have also added this variety to our field. Looks good so far,but we haven't had enough rods to work with yet. What is the ground cover under the willows that you say dates from Sept.1? It looks like snow.Nice photos.

  2. Very neat! I like that willow topiary. I may have to try that with the Salix integra I have.

  3. Hi Steve - Thanks Steve.
    I am looking forward to hearing about your experience working with 'Rubykins'.
    The ground cover is the black/white plastic that I bought at a greenhouse supplier. I talk a little about it in my post from May 1, 2009:

  4. Hi Dave - Thank you.
    I have made several different "models" and also used different willow varieties. I'll display some in later posts.

  5. Hi Salix,

    Your willow looks very healthy. No wonder koriyanagi is your favourite variety. The second year seems to really increase the sprouting. Look forward to the next willow in your series.

  6. Very interesting, Lene. I look forward to more willow posts about the different varieties you grow.

  7. The Americana is so nice ; but I cant find it here in Belgium ,
    Maybe you can advise me where we can reach it in your native Denmark or else in Europe?

    Thanks for your kind response

    it will be very helpful



  8. Weaving Willow and Yvonne, thanks for the comments - and I will do my nest willow post soon.

  9. Hi Mos
    Thanks for visiting. Salix 'Americana' is very common both in Denmark and the UK (probably also in other European countries) for weaving - so I dont' think that it would be difficult for you to find cuttings in the spring. Be aware of any import restrictions.

  10. Hej Lene , den Salix koriyanagi 'Rubykins' se utrolig smuk ud , ved du om den evt. har et andet navn også, for det ser ikke ud til at jeg kan opdrive den her i danmark. mange pilehilsner
    fra Birgitte

  11. Hej Birgitte
    Tak for kommentaren. Ja, jeg glæder mig også til at prøve at flette med den. Det lader til, at den er meget fleksibel og bøjelig. Dette er det botaniske navn, jeg ved ikke, om den går under nogen danske betegnelser.


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