Wednesday, December 28, 2016

The willows of Reyjkjavik

 Willows are one of those groups (like sedges, Apiaceae, and large parts of Asteraceae or most grasses) that most of us never get around to really studying. Speaking of course for myself. Of course, we all know a FEW willows: weeping, pussy, arctic perhaps. Navajo willow if you travel the Colorado plateau. but I (for one) am moving onto Terra incognita when you ramble the endless willow bogs of rhe Rockies. Which is why I'm posting these: I happen to know the Willow Man (Michael Dodge) who owns Vermont Willow Nursery, (Do click on that!)--THE mail order source for willows in North America.

I've known Michael for many years--he has a long and rather glorious career in horticulture, in both his native England and North America. He knows all manner of plants from alpines to trees, but he has this special knack with a group of plants that haunts us....

It's been over a year and a half since I wandered the botanical garden (and streets) of Reykjavik en route to Copenhagen and my Chanticleer supported research in Greece and Turkey. I highly recommend Iceland Air--a wonderful airline, which offers a break in your European flight: few interludes can be as pleasing as 18 hours or so in Reykjavik: NEXT time I fly Iceland air I'll take a few days and visit Akureyri as well. Hell I may take a week and do hot springs! Iceland is a wonderful country where they jail felonious bankers. We elect our criminals to the highest offices! But enough politics...let's get back to willows!

I have a hunch Michael will be able to guess one or two of the un-named willows I found on that magical day...

Salix barrariana (From the Pacific Northwest)
One of many willows at the botanical garden: I doubt I photographed more than a fraction: sorry, Michael! But I did think of you as I took these pictures!          

Salix ceretana (from the Pyrenees(

I took this picture downtown: either this willow, or several very much like it, were used in landsaping all over Reyjkavik.

Salix phlebophylla
 Horrible picture. But I did get the label.

Salix repens

Unknown Salix sp. at Reykjavik B.G.
 I was charmed with this one, but couldn't locate a label.

Closeup of the last

Salix at Reyjkavik B.G.

Salix sp. outside Reykjavik B.G.

Closup of the previous

Salixsp. Reykjavik botanical garden

Salix sphenophylla

Hardly a Jacquie Lawson card, but a gesture at least to my peripatetic friends (Nova Scotia, Vermont and Santa Fe)...

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