Salix discolor

Common name: Pussy Willow

Native plant

Popular in spring for its fluffy gray and yellow catkins from where it gets its name. After that it falls out of the minds of most gardeners until it brightens agian the following year. Fortunately this willow has far more to offer those that want enjoy it beyond its flowers. The leaves have a felt-like cast to them early in the season and retain it on the undersides for the rest of the year. These leaves host a number of butterflies and moths in moist, sunny habitats. Most notably the Viceroy butterfly. In nature and in the yard Salix discolor is a bit inconsistant in form, but it usually has a few larger limbs that are then well branched. It tends to be between 8 to 15 feet tall. All of these characteristics make it awesome as an addition to any moist ground shrub border. 


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Woodies- Standard Shrub
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5 Gallon


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Plant Details

Plant type

Large Shrub, Shrub

Soil type

Mesic (Not too Wet Not too Dry), Moist Mesic, Wet

Light exposure

Eastern Exposure / Morning Sun, Full Sun

Bloom period


Urban environment

Durable Near High Traffic Areas, Yards that Flood


Floodplain, Wetlands

Growth form

Dence Growth Form, Shrubby/Clump, Low branched, Colonizing / Spreading

Growth rate


Flower color


Fall color



Mature height
7 Feet
Mature width
10 Feet
Max height
20 Feet
Max width
22 Feet

Additional information

Butterfly host plant Loved by birds Pollinator hot spot Rain garden suited

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