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.
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
We received our Black Cat Pussywillow it came it great shape, we planted it back in August and it has grown 2 to 3 times bigger than when we received it! We just moved to our new home 2 yrs ago and we have always had pussywillows. The price was great, the shipping was fast and we received quality bushes! We will order with Great Garden Plants for any future purchases we make.
They arrived healthy and are looking good. I can't wait till they bloom in the spring!
When I got the replacement plants they were in good order and they were planted but after some serious drought conditions, the plants appear to have died. I don't think this speaks anything poorly on Great Garden Plants. This was just not a good year to try to plant things here in Wichita, though I am surprised more the 'Miss Molly' Butterfly Bushes also struggled, but in fairness a lot of plants are struggling due to the 100+ temperatures we've had. Timing might be an issue too, but the original order was in that 2-month timeframe when they shipped and arrived in questionable to poor condition, minus the Forsythia which were very healthy but are also more drought tolerant. I'd rate 3 stars since all 3 of the bushes passed for the Black Cat that needed more moisture to thrive. I'm also combining this with the other two plants mentioned. I think Great Garden Plants has been fair given the way the plants were received. Unfortunately, probably should have tried a refund on the Black Cats. Didn't think we'd go into such a drought this year.
I am looking forward to seeing the new plant flourish in my garden. It arrived packaged beautifully and so healthy! Absolutely love it!
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.