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Corkscrew Willow

Salix matsudana 'Tortuosa'

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Corkscrew Willow (Salix matsudana 'Tortuosa') at Rutgers Landscape & Nursery

Corkscrew Willow in winter

Corkscrew Willow in winter

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Corkscrew Willow (Salix matsudana 'Tortuosa') at Rutgers Landscape & Nursery

Corkscrew Willow foliage

Corkscrew Willow foliage

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Height:  30 feet

Spread:  25 feet

Sunlight:  full sun 

Hardiness Zone:  4

Other Names:  Dragon's Claw Willow


An unusual specimen tree prized for its gnarled, twisted branches, providing great winter interest; upright spreading habit, best used as a solitary for maximum effect; tends to drop branchlets, aggressive root system, so do not plant near homes

Ornamental Features

Corkscrew Willow has green foliage throughout the season. The twisted narrow leaves turn yellow in fall. Neither the flowers nor the fruit are ornamentally significant. The twisted bark and gray branches are extremely showy and add significant winter interest.

Landscape Attributes

Corkscrew Willow is a multi-stemmed deciduous tree with a more or less rounded form. Its relatively fine texture sets it apart from other landscape plants with less refined foliage.

This is a relatively low maintenance tree, and is best pruned in late winter once the threat of extreme cold has passed. It has no significant negative characteristics.

Corkscrew Willow is recommended for the following landscape applications;

  • Accent
  • Shade

Planting & Growing

Corkscrew Willow will grow to be about 30 feet tall at maturity, with a spread of 25 feet. It has a low canopy with a typical clearance of 2 feet from the ground, and should not be planted underneath power lines. It grows at a fast rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for 40 years or more.

This tree should only be grown in full sunlight. It is an amazingly adaptable plant, tolerating both dry conditions and even some standing water. It is considered to be drought-tolerant, and thus makes an ideal choice for xeriscaping or the moisture-conserving landscape. It is not particular as to soil type or pH. It is highly tolerant of urban pollution and will even thrive in inner city environments. This is a selected variety of a species not originally from North America.

Hardiness Zone Plant Height Minimum Sunlight
Accent  Shade 
Plant Form  Bark  Winter Value 
Ornamental Features

Disclaimer - Rutgers Landscape & Nursery Plant Finder is an online resource representing many of the varieties that we carry over the course of the season, and is intended for informational purposes only. Inventory varies seasonally, so we cannot guarantee that every plant will be in stock at all times - please contact Rutgers directly for current availability.