50 Natives: Ohio – Salix Discolor (Pussy Willow)

Spring has sprung (finally!). Happy Spring!!
One of the earliest harbingers of the season is the arrival of pussy willows in the flower stalls. I think it is perfect time of year to feature Salix discolor as a native. Since Michelle of Auntie Thesis is in Ohio and she commented on our giveaway that the pussy willow was her favorite native plant -I am making it the choice for this state in her honor. (thanks Michelle). Oh- and my previous choice for Ohio (Sagittaria Latifolia) is being re-classified to another state.

Pussy willows are extremely easy to multiply. They root so easily that stems of almost any size can simply be stuck into moist soil in the spring, and they will take hold within a few weeks. To be successful, cuttings must be set the right end up, from new growth, at least as thick as a pencil, and a foot or more long for direct sticking. Make sure least one or two buds are above ground when the cutting is set. So when you buy your bunch for for a vase, think about planting them rather than throwing them away.

pussy willow salix discolor spring

1. Pussy Willow, 2. siskin in spring plumage…….with matching pussy willow, 3. Pussy Willow (Salix discolor), 4. IMG_1117.jpg, 5. Pussy Willow, 6. Pussy Willow, 7. Pussy Willow [double], 8. Pussy Willow [single], 9. Salix discolor ‘Pussy Willow’
Salix discolor is a weak wooded tree/ shrub that will be most beautiful if it is property maintained and pruned. It should not be planted near septic stems or other underground water sources as the root can be invasive and have a particular desire for penetrating pipes and water lines.

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rochelle greayer

Hi, I'm Rochelle and for 18 years I have worked as a landscape designer, author/writer, and design teacher. I've designed residential and hospitality (for hotels, restaurants, and spas) gardens across the USA and in the UK, Europe and the Middle East. After many years of teaching garden design topics in person, I launched the PITH + VIGOR Boot Camp series in early 2018. Through my blog, social media, and online courses (Garden Design Bootcamp and Planting Design Boot Camp) I aim to help homeowners learn how to confidently design and create home gardens that reflect their own personal and unique style.
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3 Comments

  1. RainGardener on March 22, 2009 at 9:00 am

    I love Pussy Willows and in fact have been looking at some in catalogs. They would be great in arrangements.

  2. High Desert Diva on March 22, 2009 at 8:39 am

    Your post is timely. My husband and I just went foraging for branches along the Deschutes River. I’ve been eyeing these branches each spring:
    http://etsyhighdesertdiva.blogspot.com/2009/01/outtakes.html
    I was surprised to find pussy willow buds on them! I had no idea the branches of pussy willow could get such intense color.

    We did stick some of the branches in our yard…instant shrubs. I’ll move the ones we put near the septic lines, however….just in case they do take root.

  3. Pam Kersting on March 22, 2009 at 8:58 pm

    Love the Pussy Willows! I’ve got a big vase full of them on my Dining Room table and you know, they are starting to grow roots!

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