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Closeup of Salix Black Cat catkins
Black Cat Pussywillow is one of the earliest shrubs to bloom
Salix Black Cat catkins start out a beautiful silvery pink red
Salix Black Cat shrubs in early spring
Black Cat Pussywillow catkins turn a handsome silver black

Salix Black Cat® - Pussywillow

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Welcome spring each year with one of the earliest-to-bloom of all flowering shrubs: pussywillow. But not just any pussywillow, plant Black Cat Salix from Proven Winners. Each year, as soon as the days start to get longer and warmer, it bursts forth with big, fluffy catkins. They start out a beautiful silvery pink-red, turn to a handsome silver-black, and then go all silver before their pollen emerges. They are wind-pollinated, but the reason that we offer them is because so many different types of caterpillars feed on their foliage. You may find yourself hosting striped hairstreaks, mourning cloaks, and even the larvae of the amazing red-spotted purple butterfly, just to name a few!

Black Cat willow is a very large plant that needs a good amount of space. It makes an excellent choice for providing privacy and coverage, however, or as a backdrop to your pollinator garden.


Vital details:

Size: 10-12' tall and wide

Light: full sun (6+ hrs/day) is best; can be grown in part sun but flowering will be reduced and the plant may become kind of gangly.

Hardiness: USDA zone 4-7 (Find your hardiness zone)

Pollinator value: foliage hosts caterpillars of striped hairstreak, red-spotted purple, viceroy, mourning cloak, tiger swallowtail, and compton tortiseshell butterflies.

Notable features: unusual, early blooming, good for hedging, good for privacy and coverage, good cut flower.

Maintenance: Prune back hard after blooming to encourage dense growth and good flowering. While this isn't strictly necessary, you are likely to find the plant looks better and is easier to keep in scale with your landscape when managed this way. You can also do this every other year if you prefer. 

Pot size: one quart

Plant name: Salix 'Lubber's Zwart', pp#27,403


Customer Reviews

Based on 6 reviews
Amy H.

I am looking forward to seeing the new plant flourish in my garden. It arrived packaged beautifully and so healthy! Absolutely love it!

Sylvia R.
What I hoped for !

The plant arrived in very good condition. We planted it right away . It seems to be doing very well in the spot I picked. We are hoping it will grow into a nice host plant for our butterfly garden.

trish s.
black cat pussywillow

Received a healthy pussywillow. Its doing very well near an alley fence. There, it can grow all it wants. Thanks so much.

Great customer service!

I ordered the Black Cat pussywillow and unfortunately, the first one came too dried out to survive. I contacted Customer Service and they sent me out another one right away. It's doing very well, and I look forward to watching it grow!

Sherri M.
Shipped healthy & wonderful

Wish I had better care instructions for current & future growth. #tips