Pussy Willow

Salix discolor

In early spring the silky catkins of Pussy Willow open well ahead of other flowering plants. The catkins bloom conspicuously on bare stems, before the leaves appear, and offer a critical source of pollen for native bees that emerge early in the season …

More Detail
Plants $29.99
Availability: In stock
SKU
98030-GL
Cultural Details
Soil Type Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil Moisture Moist, Wet
Sun Exposure Full Sun
Height 10' - 20'
Bloom Color White, Yellow
Bloom Time Mar
Spacing 5' - 10'
Zones 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8
Root Type Fibrous
Benefits Birds, Pollinators, Host Plant

In early spring the silky catkins of Pussy Willow open well ahead of other flowering plants. The catkins bloom conspicuously on bare stems, before the leaves appear, and offer a critical source of pollen for native bees that emerge early in the season.

The trunks of Pussy Willow are typically clustered with a strong upright form that provides good cover and nesting sites for a variety of birds. This clonal plant spreads by rhizome and can form dense thickets. Native to wetlands, marsh edges and river bottoms, Pussy Willow thrives in moist to wet areas where many other species would struggle. The blue-green leaves are a larval food source for Mourning Cloak and Viceroy butterflies.

Planting and Cultivation Notes
Salix discolor is a dioecious species - male & female flowers are produced on separate plants. Both male and female plants have flowers, and both produce nectar. Female bees are more likely to collect pollen on the male flowering plants. The flowers of the male plant produce the soft nubby catkins which are so often used in flower cuttings. Female plants also bloom, but tend to develop and open a little later, forming their own attractive pussy willow catkins. Three to five shrubs are needed for successful fruiting, but as fairly common landscape plant, fruiting is not usually an issue.