Pussy Willow

Pussy Willow (Salix discolor) is a name for many smaller species in the Salix genus (sallows and willows) when their hairy catkins are young at the beginning of spring.

Pussy Willow Flowers

Pussy Willow originates from North America. It generally grows in moist soils of swamps, prairies, and along streams and lakes. Salix discolor, the American willow or glaucous willow, is one of the two species[1] commonly known as pussy willow.

Pussy Willow Flowers

It is a dioeciousWhat is dioecious?Pertaining to plants, individuals of which bear either staminate or pistillate flowers, but not both. species that is often considered a large, heavily stemmed shrub 6 to 15 feet tall but less commonly found as a small tree 30 feet tall.

Salix Discolor Flowers

Before foliage emerges in late winter, male trees usually produce a striking display of silky pearl-gray catkins (1 to 1.5 inches long).

Female trees produce smaller and less attractive greenish catkins. Male pussy willows are known to produce attractive ornamental pearly gray silky catkins on leafless stems from late winter to early spring.

These catkins are believed to resemble cats’ paws, hence the common name. Elliptical to lanceolate leaves (up to 5 inches long) with marginal teeth are dull green on top and bluish-green on the bottom.

Suggested Reading: Different Kinds of Flowers

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BioExplorer.net. (2022, December 04). Pussy Willow. Bio Explorer. https://www.bioexplorer.net/plants/flowers/pussy-willow/.
BioExplorer.net. "Pussy Willow" Bio Explorer, 04 December 2022, https://www.bioexplorer.net/plants/flowers/pussy-willow/.
BioExplorer.net. "Pussy Willow" Bio Explorer, December 04 2022. https://www.bioexplorer.net/plants/flowers/pussy-willow/.
Key References
  • [1]“What Are Pussy Willows, Anyway? – Brooklyn Botanic Garden”. Accessed May 02, 2022. Link.

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