Nigricans comes in 10"-12" cuttings. This willow has the most beautiful stem colour, a glossy deep browney-black in the shade and with a purple sheen to it in the sun. Rods will grow to about 2m (6') and when cut the rods get blacker as they dry. In spring the new young growth is a lovely black and green and then in the winter when the leaves fall it looks like a thicket of fine black bamboo. The colour deepens as the winter progresses.
This is a great ornamental willow which tends to grow as a bushy shrub rather than a tree. It is particularly useful because, unlike most willow, it tolerates shade. It can be left to spread but to keep the colour as dramatic as possible you should cut back each year.
The rods are quite fine and even, with a very smooth feel and are easy to work. They can be quite branched but it is worth living with that for the colour!
Although no longer common, myrsinifolia or Nigricans willow is native to the Northern Hemisphere and can still be found in Scotland and Northern Ireland.