Virginia Tech Dendrology

pussy willow Salicaceae Salix discolor Muhl. Listen to the Latin symbol: SADI
Leaf: Alternate, simple, elliptical to oblong, weakly serrated, 2 to 4 inches long, may be fuzzy, blue-green above, pale almost white below.
Flower: Species is dioecious; catkins, both males and females very fuzzy, silvery gray, 1 inch long, appearing in late winter or very early spring.
Fruit: Small, brown capsules in clusters 2 to 2 1/2 inches long, each containing many small fuzzy seeds, ripen in late spring.
Twig: Slender, green or red, may be fuzzy, buds purple-red with a single cap-like scale.
Bark: Gray-brown, initially smooth, becoming split and shallowly furrowed or scaly.
Form: Small tree or multi-stemmed shrub up to 30 feet.
Looks like: Bebb's willow - Scouler willow - Sitka willow
leaf flower fruit twig bark form1 map
Additional Range Information: Salix discolor is native to North America. Range may be expanded by planting. See states reporting pussy willow.
More Information: Fall Color
External Links: USDA Plants Database
All material © 2017 Virginia Tech Dept. of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation; Photos and text by: John Seiler, Edward Jensen, Alex Niemiera, and John Peterson