Genuine weeping willows, which have achieved almost mythical status, are unfortunately too frost-tender to be grown in Finland. However, when crossed with hardier species there is some chance of success. Of the hybrids tested at Mustila in the first years of this millennium, the most successful has been – surprisingly - a variety named ‘Blanda’, apparently a cross between crack willow (S. euxina) and Babylon weeping willow (S. babylonica), brought to Finland from Denmark by the willows enthusiast Tapani Uronen in 2003.
This is a genuine ’Blanda’ variety, and not the same as the variety under the same name brought from Russia to Finland in the 1800s. The ‘Blanda’ in question here has long weeping branches reaching the ground (or water), with narrow hairless leaves having two large stipules at their base. The winter branches are shiny green, the leaf buds blackish.
The young specimen planted at Mustila can be found by the bridge at the Atsalearinne (Azalea Slope) pool where, despite shade and wet, it has grown amazingly well. It has shown itself to be quite frost hardy and resistant to disease.