Bridal Rice: A Groundcover Willow
For the past several years Johnson’s Nursery has been propagating and growing a unique small willow that is somewhat uncommon in the plant industry. This willow is Salix repens ‘Bridal Rice’.
Bridal Rice Willow has short gray-blue foliage and tiny pussy willow flowers in the spring. It is called ‘Bridal Rice’ because the tiny flowers resemble white rice grains. However this plants main attribute is its short spreading stature. It usually grows 18” tall x 8’ wide.
Bridal Rice Willow is also drought and salt tolerant. It makes an excellent groundcover for roadway median strips or in any other place where a drought tolerant groundcover plant would be desired. Tired of Grow-Low Sumac? Use Bridal Rice Willow instead!
We find it best to prune Bridal Rice Willow back in spring prior to leafing out to promote a denser plant. Pruning back 8-10” works best. Worried about snow load damage? No problem, as this plant is best pruned back hard in spring anyway.
Next time you need a low growing groundcover, think willow. Bridal Rice Willow.
Paul Schwabe is a salesman in our Contractor Sales division. He holds a degree in horticulture and will be writing about some of his favorite and underused plants.