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Help Identifying Plant and Weeping Willow

Can anyone identify this plant in photo attached and advise if it is good for fast growing/spread?  Also any advice on best variety of weeping willow with very full and green drooping foliage?  We bought several of the Kilmarnock variety and they have grown very little in 3 years and still look sparse and unimpressive!  Thanks 


  • nutcutletnutcutlet Posts: 27,172
    Kilmarnock Willows are small and unimpressive, they won't get taller than the stem they're grafted onto except by a the thickness of yearly stems piled up

    In the sticks near Peterborough
  • Is it a particular variety of alium? It looks very striking? When should they be planted?
  • Busy-LizzieBusy-Lizzie Posts: 21,769
    They are Allium sphaerocephalon. Plant bulbs in the autumn.
    Dordogne and Norfolk. Clay in Dordogne, sandy in Norfolk.
  • @Busy-Lizzie - thank you! So too late for this year, that's a shame :(
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 84,041
    To clarify, each allium bulb will produce just one bloom ... they don’t stay in flower for long neither do they repeat bloom. They aren’t spreaders either. They’re best used as ‘dot’ plants between herbaceous perennials. 

    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

  • LiriodendronLiriodendron Posts: 8,034
    Regarding the weeping willow, unless you have a very large garden you'd be well advised to plant a different weeping tree instead, assuming you've been admiring the big elegant trees you see growing beside rivers and lakes.  They are notorious for damaging drains, and should be planted at least 50 feet (that's more than 15 metres) from drains and other underground utilities.

    Kilmarnock willows often seem to look quite untidy or lopsided, and are only really pretty when the "pussy willow" catkins are out.  I'd look for something else, I think; there are some pretty flowering cherries with a weeping habit, which will give you autumn colour as well as spring flowers.  Cheal's weeping cherry is a well-known one.  Or if you like silver foliage, you could grow the willow-leaved pear, which has "willow-like" leaves but is easier to grow well. 
    Since 2019 I've lived in east Clare, in the west of Ireland.
  • @Liriodendron - Thanks for such a detailed reply, that is so helpful. I will look up all of your suggestions too. Thanks again.
  • KeenOnGreenKeenOnGreen Posts: 1,794
    Our Allium Sphaerocephalons are prolific self-seeders.  We have seedlings all around where we originally planted them, although it's relatively easy to pull them out when they are young.  Although the flower doesn't last very long, the seed head is beautiful in itself and lasts for months.  If you're happy with the self seeding, they are a lovely hybrid to grow.  The bees absolutely love them.
  • @KeenOnGreen thank you. They look so very striking, such a shame they don't flower for long.
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