Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Japanese Pussy Willow, Giant Pussywillow
Salix chaenomeloides

Family: Salicaceae (sal-i-KAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Salix (SAL-iks) (Info)
Species: chaenomeloides

4 vendors have this plant for sale.

5 members have or want this plant for trade.


6-8 ft. (1.8-2.4 m)

4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 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:
Sun to Partial Shade

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:

Bloom Time:
Late Winter/Early Spring


Other details:
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Soil pH requirements:
Unknown - Tell us

Patent Information:
Unknown - Tell us

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

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

Click thumbnail
to view:

Thumbnail #1 of Salix chaenomeloides by TBGDN


2 positives
3 neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Neutral figaro52 On Sep 1, 2009, figaro52 from Oak Lawn, IL (Zone 5a) wrote:

Give it lots of room as it grows very quickly. Beautiful in late winter/early spring, otherwise, nothing spectacular.

Neutral jengamom On May 31, 2008, jengamom from Lakeville, MA wrote:

Looks great, grows great, BUT it seems to be a favorite food of Japanese beetles which I have to knock off daily (sometimes twice a day).

Positive giftedgirl On Apr 6, 2008, giftedgirl from Ozark, MO wrote:

Possibly the favorite plant in my garden. After just over two years, mine has grown from a twiggy little thing to around 13 feet tall, with a wide, woody trunk. My husband regularly wonders why it isn't called a tree, as we have no idea when it will stop growing, and it is as hardy as or even hardier than the trees on our property!

The branches are strong (only pruning has removed them; not even wind or our terrible ice storms here in Zone 6 touch it). It maintains that graceful willow look, although it is upright rather than weeping.

The catkins remain for weeks in early spring, and mine attract honeybees like crazy & are rather fragrant. The leaves aren't anything special, but they are thick on the branches, completely disease-resistant, & nothing kills them, not even the annoying Japanese beetles we get in mid/late summer here.

We spray the pussy willow to kill the beetles, but the plant itself acts like either way, nothing happened. It loves water, but if you forget for a few weeks--eh, whatever. An incredibly hardy, fast-growing "shrub."

Positive TBGDN On Mar 20, 2006, TBGDN from (Zone 5a) wrote:

A very hardy small shrub-like tree here in 5a/b. It can grow rapidly up to 10-12 feet, and has a vase-shaped appearance, spreading out at the top. The blooms appear as swollen buds in very late winter, and change color from a pinkish white to large gray white ovals. As they mature they become large, and eventually fall off the tree. Cuttings are easily propagated by cutting stems from branches and placing in a jar of water for a few days. I have even planted them directly into moist soil where rooting occurs naturally and quickly. I like to keep them in shape by pruning after leaves have fallen in late fall and early winter. Very attractive ornamental in late winter, and early spring, especially against a blue sky.

Neutral smiln32 On Jan 30, 2005, smiln32 from Oklahoma City, OK (Zone 7a) wrote:

New leaf growth is reddish brown that matures to a dark blue-green. Can reach a height of 15', but is often considered a shrub. Flower buds are a pinkish purple that have a silvery cast to them.


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

Vincent, Alabama
Oak Lawn, Illinois
Georgetown, Indiana
Macy, Indiana
Greensboro, Maryland
Lakeville, Massachusetts
Ozark, Missouri
Norristown, Pennsylvania
Warwick, Rhode Island
Charleston, West Virginia

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