Black Pussy Willow 'Melanostachys'

Salix gracilistyla

Family: Salicaceae (sal-i-KAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Salix (SAL-iks) (Info)
Species: gracilistyla (grass-il-ih-STY-luh) (Info)
Cultivar: Melanostachys
Synonym:Salix gracistyla var. melanostachys
Synonym:Salix melanostachys




Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Requires consistently moist soil; do not let dry out between waterings

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


12-15 ft. (3.6-4.7 m)

15-20 ft. (4.7-6 m)

20-30 ft. (6-9 m)


8-10 ft. (2.4-3 m)

10-12 ft. (3-3.6 m)

12-15 ft. (3.6-4.7 m)


USDA Zone 4a: to -34.4 C (-30 F)

USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 C (-25 F)

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

Sun to Partial Shade



Bloom Color:

Dark Purple/Black

Bloom Time:

Late Winter/Early Spring


Grown for foliage


Provides winter interest

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)

7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

7.9 to 8.5 (alkaline)

8.6 to 9.0 (strongly alkaline)

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

From woody stem cuttings

From softwood cuttings

From semi-hardwood cuttings

From hardwood cuttings

Seed Collecting:

N/A: plant does not set seed, flowers are sterile, or plants will not come true from seed


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

Hinsdale, Illinois

Clay, Kentucky

Ellicott City, Maryland

Laurel, Maryland

Roslindale, Massachusetts

Lansing, Michigan

Pawling, New York

Toledo, Ohio

Salem, Oregon

Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania

Pickens, South Carolina

Lexington, Virginia

Wytheville, Virginia

Olympia, Washington

Seattle, Washington

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Gardeners' Notes:


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

It astounds me that this cultivar is planted so much more often than the species, which is vastly showier. This just shows the power of the horticultural press, where this cultivar is highly oversold. In fine gardening circles, this is a Currently Fashionable Plant. If you want it for its beauty in the landscape and not just for its novelty value in arrangements, plant the species and not this cultivar.

Blooming begins in mid-January and continues for over a month in Boston Z6. The catkins open black with hints of red before the stamens emerge---the black color is transitory. At this stage, the flowering stems are interesting in indoor arrangements, but the catkins of this cultivar are nearly invisible in the landscape. The catkins are also a fraction of the size of those of... read more


On Mar 10, 2007, Charlotteda from Pickens, SC (Zone 7a) wrote:

Has a serious root system so decide where you want it to stay before you plant.