Click for previous Image Image 1 of 3 Salix alba var. vitellina (matsudana?) Contorted Willow

Salix alba var. vitellina (matsudana?) 'Swizzle Stick'

Contorted Willow

Plant Type:


Salix alba var. vitellina ‘Swizzle Stick’ (ex: Joann Vieira) - This is not unlike S. x ‘Golden Curls’ thus far. But rather than a hybrid it is apparently straight S. alba (or very likely S. matsudana as listed by the willow guru, Michael Dodge) with upright contorted wood. Its habit tends to be columnar with all branches vertical as a young plant. And as S. alba has greater hardiness than ‘Golden Curls’ it would allow gardeners living farther north to include this fascinating form in their landscapes. Established pot grown shrub from cutting.

Please scroll down to the Genus Overview for more information.



40-50 ft


2 to 8(9)
What is my hardiness zone?

Characteristics and Attributes for Salix alba var. vitellina (matsudana?) 'Swizzle Stick'

Season of Interest (Foliage)

  • Spring / Summer / into Autumn

Interesting Bark

  • Contorted
  • Colored
  • Columnar Form


  • Full Sun


  • Specimen
  • Marginal
  • Alee

Growth Rate in the Garden

  • Moderately Fast


  • Fertile
  • Moist


  • Garden Origin

Propagated By

  • Cutting Grown

Genus Overview: Salix

Common Name: Willow

Salix. These are the willows, a large genus of woody plants. Some willows are small shrubs, others grow into huge trees and there are many bushy species which fall in between. All prefer sun planted in fertile moisture retaining soils; some are tolerant of quite wet feet. Many have quite attractive lanceolate leaves with silvery undersides that flash in summer breezes… I have often thought of these as the “poor man’s bamboo”. Some have contorted and beautifully colored bark which shines in the winter landscape. Many sport beautiful winter/spring catkins. Nearly all willows have utilitarian applications in fencing, rods, basket making. All are very prune-able; in fact, any of the larger shrubs depending upon how you desire to employ them will respond well to pruning and coppicing. When coppiced those with beautifully colored winter stems display many more of them. And as with ornamental shrub dogwoods younger stems exhibit the best, most intense winter tones. All ornamental characteristics will be presented according to species/cultivar. All of the following offerings are established pot grown shrubs from a cutting. We may prune back all larger growing selections prior to shipping so that you will not incur the extra handling charge.