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This is a wild hybrid between S. lapponum, the small Downy willow, and S. reticulata, a dwarf prostrate species which makes dense mats of tiny growth. It was found only once in the wild, in the 1870s, and has not grown larger than 90cm (3ft) in cultivation. It is usually very much less, slow-growing and expanding almost imperceptibly into a dense bush of gnarled hairy stems, covered with round grey-green leaves and making a perfect miniature shrub for sinks, troughs and small rock gardens. Although male, it rarely produces catkins. The Royal Horticultural Society have given it their prestigious Award of Garden Merit (AGM).
Plant type: Deciduous shrub
Foliage colour: Grey
Sun exposure: Full sun
Skill level: Experienced
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