Published On: January 27th, 2021

Spring time in January ?

When certain flowers start blooming, that’s my signal that Spring is around the corner. Although in this case, Spring is actually 2 months away. Here in California seasons tend to arrive a little earlier than they would in New York/New Jersey, where I grew up. Which leads me to a special plant that I always adored as a little girl. Pussy Willows. I loved the fuzzy white, sometimes pink, little knob growing throughout the stem. I would take the branch and rub it against my face, feeling the softness of each bloom. I don’t know why but it always made me feel happy.

The correct name for this plant is SALIX DISCOLOR, which is a member of the Willow family. It’s a deciduous shrub and in some cases a tree. During the Spring, before new leaves appear, little flowers that are soft, silky and silvery form. Those are called Catkins. Hence Pussy Willows, resembling a cat’s foot/claws.
A colleague of mine has a Salix Discolor tree growing in her yard and recently pruned it back a bit. Lucky me, she shared some of her cut branches. A little early to get the full effect of blooms, but still wonderful to add to some arrangements. Next step, I am going to try to grow some myself.
Nature truly is a wonderful and we must always nurture it!

Simple Vase with some Pussy Willows not in bloom but great to use within the arrangement for interest and height.

A few weeks later, just starting to bloom!

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