Pussy Willow, also known as Goat Willow, is actually Salix caprea. This Eurasian native is a small, deciduous tree that typically only reaches a height of 15 to 25 feet, occasionally to 30 feet. The leaves are 2 to 4 inches long and broader than most other willows. And these leaves usually have a nice clear yellow color in autumn. The flowers though are the real treat. They have been loved by generations of children and are often associated with Easter. The catkins are soft, silky, silvery white, 1 to 2 inches long, produced in early spring before the new leaves appear. Since Pussy willows are dioecious the male and female catkins will appear on different plants. The male catkins mature yellow at pollen release, the female catkins maturing pale green. The fruit is not ornamentally significant being a small capsule containing minute seeds in fine cottony hairs.

Pussy willows have an attractive form and make small, rounded trees of  medium-fine texture. They're very well suited to damp sites in full sun and are often found by rivers and streams. Since they are tough and fast growing they are famously suited to industrial sites and new residential developments. The leaves are used as a food resource by several species of butterflies and are also commonly eaten by browsing mammals, which makes it a wild-life friendly choice.

With maturity a Pussy willow may become more disease prone and brittle, but as they are a small to medium tree they rarely pose a threat to structures.

If one is looking for a fast-growing tree, of a size well accommodated to urban sites, then a pussy willow would be an excellent choice, and even more so if located near a pond or stream.

There are also other famous willows, such as the Weeping willow, Salix babylonica, and the Golden weeping willow, or Salix alba 'Tristis'.

Pussy willow


Trees for:  Acid soils     Clay soils      Poor soils      Seashore      Dry soils     Cold soils      Wet soils     Alkaline soilsTrees_for_acid_soils.htmlTrees_for_clay_soils.htmlTrees_for_poor_soils.htmlTrees_for_seashore.htmlTrees_for_dry_soils.htmlTrees_for_Cold-exposed_areas.htmlTrees_for_wet_soils.htmlTrees_for_alkaline_soils.htmlshapeimage_4_link_0shapeimage_4_link_1shapeimage_4_link_2shapeimage_4_link_3shapeimage_4_link_4shapeimage_4_link_5shapeimage_4_link_6shapeimage_4_link_7
Trees by size                               Special features                                Forms of treesTrees_by_size.htmlSpecial_features.htmlForms_of_trees.htmlshapeimage_5_link_0shapeimage_5_link_1shapeimage_5_link_2