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Salix discolor

Growing Information

Plant Type: Shrub
Sunlight: Full sun
Soils: Moist to wet soils.
Bloom Time: February, March
Size: Up to 20ft tall, often shorter. Tolerates being cut back aggressively.

Fast growing shrub. Appreciates being cut back every few years to encourage vigorous new suckering growth. Fuzzy buds appear in late winter and open into sticky catkins which provide nectar and pollen during a crucial time of the year when food is scarce. Beautiful as an accent in cut flower arrangements. Propagates easily from cuttings. BEWARE of non-native hybrids in nurseries – they do not support native insects.

Garden Companions

American Blue-flag (Iris versicolor); Swamp Rosemallow (Hibiscus moscheutos); Marsh Marigold (Caltha palustris); Winterberry (Ilex verticillata)

Nature Benefits

• Provides nectar for native bees very early in the year when food is scarce.
• Larval host to many butterflies and moths, including the Morning Cloak (Nymphalis antiopa), Viceroy (Limenitis archippus), and the Cecropia Moth (Hyalophora cecropia).
• Birds feed on the buds and catkins; twigs are browsed by deer.

Natural Habitat

Marshy, low areas; streambanks and ditches.

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