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Zones 1-11, 14-24, 30-45
Full Sun
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Ample, Moderate

Salix discolor

Pussy Willow
Deciduous, Trees


Fast-growing, weak-wooded, short-lived plants. Weeping willows are best used as single trees near a stream or lake, though they can, with training, become satisfactory shade trees for patio or terrace. They leaf out very early in spring and hold their foliage late. Shrubby willows are grown mainly for catkins (this group goes by the name “pussy willow”) or colorful twigs, as screen plants, or for erosion control on stream or river banks.

Salix discolor

Native to the eastern United States. Grows 15 to 25 ft. tall, 12 to 15 ft. wide. Slender red-brown stems; bright green, 2- to 4-in. leaves have bluish undersides. Catkins of male plants are main draw: soft, silky, pearl gray, to 1/2 in. long.

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