I had to slam on the brakes….
Where THOSE Pussywillows?
NO… couldn’t be…. could they???
Only one way to find out…
No one is coming… back up!!!!
Grab the Cam and check it out…
YEAH!!!!! They ARE Pussywillows!!!
Another PROMISE of Spring…
White Rock, Westerly, RI USA
Canon SX210 IS
WHAT EXACTLY ARE PUSSY WILLOWS?
Pussy willow trees are native to wetlands of Canada and the eastern U.S. As a willow, the trees are part of the genus, Salix. The terminology pussy willows is used loosely to refer both to the trees themselves and to the furry buds on its branches (also known as “catkins”). However, to make a distinction, I refer to the former as “pussy willow trees” and to the latter as “pussy willows.” The Latin name for these trees in North America is Salix discolor, while its rough equivalent in Europe, the “goat willow,” goes by the scientific moniker, Salix caprea. Technically, Salix discolor is a deciduous shrub that can reach a height of twenty feet, if not pruned properly. Indeed, pruning back Salix discolor to a typical “shrub” size is central to its maintenance as a landscape plant.
But for an exact identification, we must narrow it down even further. Pussy willows are dioecious. There are male pussy willow trees and female pussy willow trees. The buds, or catkins, on the male pussy willow trees look different from those on the females. The male catkins are showier, and it is the branches of the male trees that we seek for their “pussy willows.” The catkins of males yield numerous tiny staminate flowers later in spring. From the decorator’s perspective, it is at this point that the bouquet has “gone by.” Likewise, the female catkins will bear pistillate flowers.