My creative workbook

Christine de Beer Floral Lifestyle Design

Salix matsudana "Tortuosa"

A medium to large deciduous tree. Have narrow leaves of about four to ten centimeters long and one to two centimeters broad. The flowers are catkins produced in the early spring. It is dioecious- with the male and female catkins on separate trees. But what makes it wonderful for the flower arranger is its twisting, spiraling twigs. As a result of the ornamental shape of the branches and twigs, this cultivar is commonly used as a bonsai plant. Willows are often planted on the borders of streams so that their interlacing roots can protect the river bank.

Salix matsudana "Tortuosa" - Curly Willow, Chinese Willow, Tortured Willow, Globe Willow, Dragon's Claw, Hankow Willow

I wove three willow spheres for my Floral Art design Three Drops of floral chocolate.

Common name:

Curly Willow, Chinese Willow, Tortured Willow, Globe Willow, Dragon's Claw, Hankow Willow


It is native to Northwestern China.


Light green leaves


Around four hundred species of Salix are listed. There are a few hybrids of the Salix matsudana but this cultivar is still susceptible to cankers and is weak-wooded and prone to storm damage.

Vase life:

Twigs in water will develop foliage that later yellows and drops. Will root in deep water. If the branches are kept in clean water it will last for a few years.




The most obvious is probably using willow stems in an arrangement but I love wrapping wire or test tubes with thin willow twigs and weave the stems into baskets, supports, accessories or panels. Recently, I began researching living willow sculptures as a possible addition to floral art. Living sculptures are created from live willow rods planted in the ground and woven into shapes such as domes or tunnels. Willow wood is used to make boxes, brooms and furniture and for the floral artist it has great manufacturing possibilities. The wood can be pulped for paper, or fibers can be made into string. It is also used as drawing charcoal.


Give the stems a fresh cut and whittle some of the bark away to allow the twigs to hydrate

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Christine de Beer

This is my ongoing creative workbook to research and capture design projects and techniques. You will mostly find ideas for floral art but I will also include some other projects such as gift packaging, cards and even cake decorating with a few lifestyle projects arranged in between.

Everything you see in this workbook was designed, made and photographed by me, unless specific credit is given to another designer.