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    French Pussy Willow

    Salix caprea

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    French Pussy Willow (Salix caprea) at Dutch Growers Garden Centre

    French Pussy Willow flowers

    French Pussy Willow flowers

    (Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

    French Pussy Willow (Salix caprea) at Dutch Growers Garden Centre

    French Pussy Willow

    French Pussy Willow

    (Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

    Height:  15 feet

    Spread:  10 feet

    Sunlight:  full sun  partial shade 

    Hardiness Zone:  4a

    Other Names:  Goat Willow


    The European pussy willow of much renown, producing large, fuzzy catkins in late winter that herald spring; upright spreading habit, versatile and adaptable, not quite as hardy as the native species but considered much showier with its larger flowers

    Ornamental Features

    French Pussy Willow features delicate tan catkins along the branches from late winter to early spring before the leaves. The flowers are excellent for cutting. It has dark green foliage throughout the season. The pointy leaves turn yellow in fall. The fruit is not ornamentally significant. The smooth bark and deep purple branches add an interesting dimension to the landscape.

    Landscape Attributes

    French Pussy Willow is a multi-stemmed deciduous shrub with a more or less rounded form. Its relatively fine texture sets it apart from other landscape plants with less refined foliage.

    This shrub will require occasional maintenance and upkeep, and is best pruned in late winter once the threat of extreme cold has passed. Gardeners should be aware of the following characteristic(s) that may warrant special consideration;

    • Messy

    French Pussy Willow is recommended for the following landscape applications;

    • Accent
    • Mass Planting
    • Hedges/Screening
    • Naturalizing And Woodland Gardens

    Planting & Growing

    French Pussy Willow will grow to be about 15 feet tall at maturity, with a spread of 10 feet. It tends to be a little leggy, with a typical clearance of 2 feet from the ground, and is suitable for planting under power lines. It grows at a fast rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for 40 years or more.

    This shrub does best in full sun to partial shade. It is quite adaptable, prefering to grow in average to wet conditions, and will even tolerate some standing water. It is not particular as to soil type or pH. It is highly tolerant of urban pollution and will even thrive in inner city environments. This species is not originally from North America.

    At Dutch Growers, we treat this plant as a "HOBBY PLANT". It is not officially recognized as winter-hardy in our zone 3, however, there is a strong liklihood that it will survive winter. Warranty expires on Nov. 1 season of purchase.

    Hardiness Zone Plant Height Minimum Sunlight
    Accent  Massing  Screening  Naturalizing 
    Flowers  Bark 
    Ornamental Features

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