Growing on the High Plains: Pussy Willows

May 10, 2018

Look out for this familiar, early-spring bloomer, the pussy willow.

Are you in the market for a little feline companionship? Perhaps some silver, furry buds to bring joy to your life? But maybe a friend that won’t sharpen its claws on the edges of your furniture or sit on your head at 4:00 a.m. begging for food?

On today’s Growing on the High Plains, we’re talking about another early-spring bloomer: the pussy willow! Though it’s fluffy catkins won’t purr, they’ll bring just as much feckless enjoyment to your home, inside and out.

Pussy willows are adept growers, even here in our arid High Plains climate. They’ll propagate wildly if left unattended. For best results, it’s recommend to provide ample water and prune them yearly after buds form—and décor lovers should definitely bring those trimmings indoors for an architectural pop to cut floral arrangements. Gardeners, beware, though: these plants love moisture, so keep all mature “puss n’ roots” away from water lines where they have been known to be particularly destructive. 

Historically, willow bark was revered in ancient cultures for its medicinal applications – and it’s still used today in a common pharmaceutical. Listen to the clip to find out what!