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Pussy Willow

Salix discolor

  • Large shrub, 2-4m in height and 2-3m in width.
  • Leaves are typically long and narrow, dark green turning bright yellow in fall.
  • Traditional soft silver pussy willow (male catkin) flowers in early spring before leaves
  • Young wood is light to dark red, older wood has silvery bloom (coating)

Landscape Use:

  • This plant is valuable for its winter wood, adding colour to dreary winter landscapes. The early blooming pussy willows (male catkins) give hope for spring. Kids and adults can’t resist touching the soft, fuzzy catkins.
  • Works well as a unique screen. Leafy in the summer and brightly coloured in the winter.
  • Interplant with tall narrow screening trees to make for a more vibrant visual boundary because it has a relatively small footprint for tight areas.
  • Likes full sun.
  • Is versatile and can be used in wetter areas, but this isn’t a requirement.
  • Extremely drought tolerant for Calgary and area gardens.
  • Native pollinators (bees) feed on the early flowers.

Special Conditions:

  • Don’t plant too close to the neighbour’s yard because they’ll steal your pussy willows, and your friends and family will want bouquets in the spring.


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