Surprise pussy willow

Growing up, an elderly lady lived next door. She couldn’t take care of her gardens very well, so things ran a bit wild. At the very back of her yard at the end of one of the overgrown flowerbeds was a huge pussy willow bush.

I loved that bush and its unique fuzzy flowers. And I’ve always wanted a pussy willow of my own.

This year I think I might have one.

What looks like a pussy willow is growing in the creek alongside the driveway.

Pussy willow

Pussy willow

Pussy willow

The flowers–can I call these fuzzy things flowers?–are perhaps a bit sparser than the pussy willow of my memories, but other than that they look the same.

Anyone know if I can transplant this from the creek? I’d like to put it in one of the flowerbeds that are closer to the house.

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8 thoughts on “Surprise pussy willow

  1. Definitely pussy willow. Those fuzzy things will eventually go to seed and look ‘flowery’. Pussy willow is usually incredibly easy to transplant. You can actually just cut a 12-inch ‘branch’ off and plant that. They root pretty easily. To transplant the one you have, you need to dig a very large hole around the established plant as they have extensive root systems. And don’t plant near a house, as the roots can get into plumbing and sewer lines etc. A big prune every year will increase growth.

    • sorry – not every year. Every couple of years you can prune back to 6inches….this gives longer branches with bigger catkins.

      • Thanks, Meghan. I’ve had pussy willow stalks that have rooted in water before, but I’ve never had success with them surviving after I plant them. I’m hoping I can hold onto this one.

        Are catkins the proper name for the flowers?

  2. I’ve seen them of course, but never had a pussy willow of my own. It makes sense what Meghan said, that they have an extensive root system if they are from the same willow family as weeping willows.

    It’s very very pretty! Good luck relocating it!

  3. They are called catkins, and they are “boy flowers”. Well actually they are buds, and when the stamens and pollen start to stick out, then they have actually flowered. My Mum put a long twig in a milk jug in our back yard. The milk jug was full of water and it froze over the winter, then in spring it had grown roots even though it was outside! We planted it and it grew into a HUGE willow tree, like three stories tall.

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