Salix chilensis is grown only as the cultivar S. chilensis "Fastigiata'. A more or less evergreen tree 10-15 m tall with tightly ascending branches forming a column. Leaves 9-15 cm long, 6-10 mm wide, hairless, prominent pale midrib beneath, bright green above, paler beneath. Leaf stalk to 5 mm long. Young twigs red-green becoming bronze-coloured. [Salix humboldtiana Willd.]
Chile to Mexico
This male clone is a widely planted tree claimed not to have the invasive water-seeking roots characteristic of other species in the genus. However, it may become weedy in warmer regions as in the Bellingen River Valley near Coffs Harbour.
The Chilean Willow was reported to be introduced as cuttings from an American Agricultural Research Station at Turrialba, Costa Rica by Dr George Hewitt in May 1955 (Burke, 1986). The cuttings were quarantined at Hazelwoods Nursery in Sydney, 3 surviving. One died, another was retained by Hazelwoods Nursery and the last probably remains planted near Bellingen Bridge. However, note that S. humboldtiana is listed as stock at the State Nursery, Mt Macedon at least as early as 1877 and that the Bellingen River Salix are S. nigra, not S. chilensis as was first thought (G. Carr, pers. comm.).
VIC: Sunshine (HV McKay Memorial Gardens).
D'Arcy (1978), Burke (1986).
Created by: Rob Cross
Updated by: Rob Cross, January 2018