Common name: Chinese willow, Farges willow, Redstem willow
Salix fargesii, a member of the Willow family (Salicaceae), is native to central China. It is a spreading deciduous shrub noted for its shiny red winter buds, its glossy stems, and its large magnolia-like leaves which are glossy green on top and lighter green below.
Salix fargesii grows best in moist, well-drained soil and enjoys full sun.
This willow was named after Paul Farges, a French Jesuit missionary who was also a plant collector. Salix fargesii was 'discovered' by Isaac Henry Burkell, an English botanist in 1899, and introduced to the west by E. H. Wilson in 1910.
Salix fargesii received the RHS Award of Garden Merit in 2012.
It can be found near the waterfall and by Shaughnessy Restaurant.
Text and photos by Kumi Sutcliffe