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Pussy WillowSalix caprea

  • Pussy Willow - Salix caprea

The fast-growing pussy willow has long been admired for its strong, spreading, upright stems, colorful autumn leaves and iconic purplish-brown catkins that appear in late winter/early spring. The furry catkins are striking on the bare stems, appearing between seasons when gardens can seem rather blah.

Grown as either a small tree or large shrub, this specimen’s blooming branches are also widely used for decoration.

Hardiness Zones

The pussy willow can be expected to grow in Hardiness Zones 4–8. View Map

Tree Type

This is an ornamental tree, typically planted for the visual interest and beauty it can bring to landscape.

Mature Size

The pussy willow grows to a height of 15–25' and a spread of 12–25' at maturity.

Growth Speed Fast Growth Rate

This tree grows at a fast rate, with height increases of more than 24" per year.

Sun Preference

Full sun and partial shade are best for this tree, meaning it prefers a minimum of 4 hours of direct, unfiltered sunlight each day.

Soil Preference

The pussy willow grows in acidic, loamy, moist, rich and well-drained soils.


This tree:
  • Produces soft, purplish-brown catkins 1–2" in length along the branches in March.
  • Provides great late winter/early spring landscape interest.
  • Can grow as a small tree or large shrub.
  • Grows in an oval shape.