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Polar Bear Willow

Salix salicola 'Polar Bear'

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Polar Bear Willow (Salix salicola 'Polar Bear') at Eagle Lake Nurseries

Polar Bear Willow foliage

Polar Bear Willow foliage

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Polar Bear Willow (Salix salicola 'Polar Bear') at Eagle Lake Nurseries

Polar Bear Willow

Polar Bear Willow

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Height:  10 feet

Spread:  6 feet

Sunlight:  full sun  partial shade 

Hardiness Zone:  2b


A stunning tall accent shrub featuring powdery silver-blue foliage and fuzzy silver stems all summer long, glimmers white in the sun; an excellent choice for foliage color contrast in the landscape, extremely adaptable and very hardy

Ornamental Features

Polar Bear Willow has attractive silvery blue foliage with silver undersides which emerges silver in spring on a plant with an oval habit of growth. The fuzzy oval leaves are highly ornamental but do not develop any appreciable fall colour.

Landscape Attributes

Polar Bear Willow is an open multi-stemmed deciduous shrub with a shapely oval form. Its average texture blends into the landscape, but can be balanced by one or two finer or coarser trees or shrubs for an effective composition.

This shrub will require occasional maintenance and upkeep, and is best pruned in late winter once the threat of extreme cold has passed. It has no significant negative characteristics.

Polar Bear Willow is recommended for the following landscape applications;

  • Accent
  • Mass Planting
  • Hedges/Screening
  • Naturalizing And Woodland Gardens

Planting & Growing

Polar Bear Willow will grow to be about 10 feet tall at maturity, with a spread of 6 feet. It has a low canopy with a typical clearance of 2 feet from the ground, and is suitable for planting under power lines. It grows at a fast rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for 40 years or more.

This shrub does best in full sun to partial shade. 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 particular about its soil conditions, with a strong preference for clay, alkaline soils. It is highly tolerant of urban pollution and will even thrive in inner city environments. This is a selection of a native North American species.

Hardiness Zone Plant Height Minimum Sunlight Soil pH Preference
Accent  Massing  Screening  Naturalizing 
Foliage Color 
Ornamental Features