Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Redgold Pussy Willow
Salix gracilistyla

Family: Salicaceae (sal-i-KAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Salix (SAL-iks) (Info)
Species: gracilistyla (grass-il-ih-STY-luh) (Info)

One vendor has this plant for sale.


10-12 ft. (3-3.6 m)

10-12 ft. (3-3.6 m)

USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)
USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)
USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)
USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)
USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)
USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)
USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun


Bloom Color:

Bloom Time:
Late Winter/Early Spring
Mid Spring


Other details:
Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:
5.1 to 5.5 (strongly acidic)
5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
From woody stem cuttings
From semi-hardwood cuttings
From hardwood cuttings

Seed Collecting:
Unknown - Tell us


1 positive
No neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive coriaceous On Jan 21, 2014, coriaceous from ROSLINDALE, MA wrote:

A profusion of showy, silvery flower catkins make a beautiful display in the landscape for over a month beginning in mid-January here in Boston Z6a. Like pussy willow (Salix caprea), but the catkins are twice the size and produced in greater profusion. The color isn't just silver, but has a variable infusion of pink to rose as well. Great for cutting, too.

A well-kept secret, this plant has the showiest flower display of all the willows, and in the middle of winter, to boot! Unlike pussy willow (Salix caprea), it doesn't require yearly stooling to keep it from becoming a tree. Responds well to pruning in late winter after the flowers fade.

Easy to propagate. I just take 12" cuttings after leaf drop in the fall and before the flower buds open, and stick them deep in the soil of a vegetable bed with only the topmost buds aboveground. They root themselves.

I see the cultivar 'Melanostachys' often offered by mail order nurseries. This has tiny black catkins which are invisible in the landscape, though in arrangements they're certainly unique.

A wonderful shrub, and one that's far too rarely seen in gardens.

This blooms in winter here---the display is over before the end of February.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Roslindale, Massachusetts
Kure Beach, North Carolina
Roxboro, North Carolina

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