When initially harvested, our Salix Alba x Fragilis (Flanders Red), is greenish-red. It becomes redder as it dries. It is a willow that I like working with. The longer/thicker rods are used in my festive wreaths and in living willow structures. The shorter/finer rods are saved for my basketry projects. When I want a deeper red-brown, I steam the soaked willow as this gives a beautiful contrast to green willows such as Dicky Meadows and Packing Twine.
This is a hardy and vigorous willow in our beds. Very generous in terms of growth and stems. It reaches approximately 7 feet in places but the majority of the harvest is between 3 feet and 6 feet.
We have included a photograph of our Flander in the willow bed waiting for this year’s harvest and one from willow harvested last year, so that you can see how it dries. It is even darker if you steam it.