Drummond's Willow (Drummondiana)

The Drummond's Willow (Drummondiana) is generally described as a perennial shrub. This is native to the U.S. (United States) has its most active growth period in the spring and summer . The greatest bloom is usually observed in the early spring, with fruit and seed production starting in the spring and continuing until summer. Leaves are not retained year to year. The Drummond's Willow (Drummondiana) has a long life span relative to most other plant species and a rapid growth rate. At maturity, the typical Drummond's Willow (Drummondiana) will reach up to 12 feet high, with a maximum height at 20 years of 12 feet.

The Drummond's Willow (Drummondiana) is easily found in nurseries, garden stores and other plant dealers and distributors. It can be propagated by bare root, container, cuttings, seed. It has a slow ability to spread through seed production and the seedlings have low vigor. Note that cold stratification is not required for seed germination and the plant cannot survive exposure to temperatures below -28°F. has low tolerance to drought and restricted water conditions.

Uses of : Landscaping, Medicinal, Culinary, etc.

Native Americans and other have long used willows for basket making. Willows are also a well-known source of salacin, which is chemically closely related to aspirin. Willows have also been used by Native Americans for bows, arrows, scoops, fish traps and other items.

Drummond willow is used for revegetation of riparian areas, native plant community restoration, and wildlife food, cover, and browse.

General Characteristics

General: Drummond willow is a multi-stemmed native shrub. It reaches a mature height of 12 feet. Flowers appear before or with new leaves. Twigs are glabrous or glaucous. Leaves are entire with revolute margins and are dense persistent white-hairy beneath.

Required Growing Conditions

Drummond willow occurs in the Yukon Territory, Alberta, British Columbia, east of the Cascades in Washington, Montana, Wallowa and Steens Mountains in Oregon, Idaho, California, Nevada, Utah, Colorado, Wyoming and New Mexico.

Habitat: Drummond willow commonly dominates or co-dominates shrubby communities along middle elevation mountain streams. It frequently mixes with ecologically similar Booth willow (S. boothii). It occurs on streambanks and in moist meadows, less often on open slopes, from foothills to moderate or high elevations in the mountains, descending to the Palouse prairie in eastern Washington.

Associated Species: Associated shrubs include Booth, Barclay (S. barclayi), Geyer (S. geyeriana), mountain (S. eastwoodii), and Wolf willow (S. wolfii); mountain gooseberry (Ribes montigenum); whitestem currant (Ribes rubrum); thinleaf alder (Alnus incana ssp. tenuifolia); red-osier dogwood (Cornus sericea); alder buckthorn (Frangula alnus) and marsh cinquefoil (Potentilla ). Understory species include bluejoint reedgrass (Calamagrostis canadensis), beaked sedge (Carex rostrata), water sedge (C. aquatilis), tufted hairgrass (Deschampsia caespitosa), Kentucky bluegrass (Poa pratensis), and field mint (Mentha arvensis).

Importance to Livestock and Wildlife All classes of livestock eat willows in the West, but cattle consume more than others because they frequent riparian areas. Drummond willow is palatable to livestock, but its importance in their diets is not reported.

Moose consume large amounts of Drummond willow during the winter, while use by other ungulates is generally light. It is used by elk and white-tailed deer.

Beaver prefer willows as food and building material. Ducks and grouse, other birds, and small mammals eat willow shoots, catkins, buds and leaves. Red-naped sapsuckers, warblers, humming birds, chipmunks, and red squirrels also use Drummond willow.

Drummond willow often forms thickets that provide good cover for a variety of wildlife species including moose, and good nesting and foraging habitat for ducks, shore birds, vireos, warblers, and sparrows. Dense overhanging branches provide shade for salmonids.

Adaptation Drummond willow is adapted to fine, medium, and coarse-textured soils with a pH of 5.2 to 7.4 and annual precipitation from 16 to 40 inches. It typically grows on moist, well-aerated mineral soils. Textures vary from cobbles and gravels immediately adjacent to waterways to sandy or clay loams in broad valleys. Shade tolerance is intermediate.

Cultivation and Care

Drummond willow may be propagated via seed or cuttings. Seed is used to produce containerized plants. Cuttings may either be planted directly at the site or planted to produce bareroot plants or containerized plants. Drummond willow should be established in the capillary zone in riparian revegetation plantings. Much information is available for willow establishment, primarily in riparian zones. See reference section.

General Upkeep and Control

Drummond willow provides important streambank protection by effectively stabilizing soils. Heavy grazing in moist Drummond willow communities can lead to soil compaction streambank sloughing and damage to willow plants. Cattle or wild ungulate overgrazing of Drummond willow causes it to become decadent or stunted. Plants recover rapidly when browsing is excluded. Grazing is particularly detrimental to the establishment of willows.

Seed and Plant Production Drummond willow is easily propagated by use of hardwood cuttings without use of rooting hormone. It can also be propagated with seed but seed must be collected as soon as the fruits ripen. Mature seed loses germination ability rapidly, so planting soon after collection is necessary. Moistened seed may be stored for up to a month if refrigerated in sealed containers. Seeds of willow are not known to exhibit dormancy. Some native plant propagators prefer seed propagation for added diversity of genetic material and less labor requirement for handling of materials during collection, storage and propagation. (See

Plant Basics
Growth Rate Rapid
General Type Shrub
Growth Period Spring, Summer
Growth Duration Perennial
Lifespan Long
Plant Nativity Native to U.S.
Commercial Availability Routinely Available
Physical Characteristics
Bloom Period Early Spring
Displays Fall Colors No
Shape/Growth Form Multiple Stem
Drought Tolerance Low
Shade Tolerance Intermediate
Height When Mature 12
Vegetative Spread None
Flower Color Yellow
Flower Conspicuousness No
Fruit/Seed Abundance Low
Fruit/Seed Seasonality Spring Summer
Seed Spread Rate Slow
Gardening Characteristics
Propagations (Ways to Grow) Bare Root, Container, Cuttings, Seed
Moisture Requirements High
Cold Stratification Required No
Minimum Temperature -28
Soil Depth for Roots 20
Toxic to Nearby Plants No
Toxic to Livestock No
After-Harvest Resprout Ability Yes
Responds to Coppicing Yes
Growth Requirements
pH Range 5.2–7.4 pH
Precipitation Range 16–16 inches/yr
Planting Density 1200–2724 indiv./acre
Soil Textures Coarse, Fine, Medium
Soil Depth for Roots 20
Minimum Frost-Free Days 110 day(s)
Salinity Tolerance None
CaCO3 Tolerance Medium
Sustainability & Use
Leaf Retention No
Palatability Medium
Fire Resistant No

Source: USDA, NRCS, PLANTS Database, plants.usda.gov.
National Plant Data Center, Baton Rouge, LA 70874-4490 USA