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Salix Black Cat® - Pussywillow - DISCONTINUED

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Plant Size Info

 Discontinued - We no longer offer this product. Check out our Cornus Arctic Fire Yellow to create a similar look!

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: Proven Winners, 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


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


Care & Planting Guide

After your plants have arrived:

The plants in this box have just spent a lot of time being jostled around in the dark and must be unboxed right away. Unpack the entire box, removing packaging material and plants. Remove any plastic covering the pot and/or soil surface and check if the soil is dry. Water anything that is dry or looks wilted. Any plants that have come unpotted during shipping can be replaced in their pots and their roots covered with soil.

Place plants in a cool, shaded spot out of direct sunlight for 24- 48 hours after unpacking them. This allows them a recovery and acclimation period before planting. If you must hold them longer, place them out of direct sunlight, wind, heat, and cold. Check daily for watering.

Our Guarantee

Our Guarantee

No Risk 60 Day Guarantee

We guarantee that you will be satisfied with your purchase and that your plants will arrive healthy, free of pests and diseases, and true to name.  If for any reason you are dissatisfied, notify us within 60 days of receipt of your order and we will refund you.

Fall Guarantee

Notify us within 7 days if you have a concern about orders shipped in autumn so we can make a note of it.  Warranty on such plants is extended to May 31 of the following year.  Our fall guarantee does not cover plants that are not hardy (i.e., able to survive winter) in your area, so please verify your USDA hardiness zone before purchasing. If you have questions about whether a plant can survive winter in your area, please call us before purchasing.

Our Larger Root Systems

We ship jumbo size plants with hefty root systems that outperform smaller plants obtained from other mail order nurseries.


We take great pride in our packaging.  Please contact us immediately if any of your boxes arrive damaged, or if you find any shortages or inconsistencies in the order. Please note: multiple boxes shipped by Fed Ex might not always arrive the same day. For more information, please see our shipping page.

Dormant Plants

Any plant shipped dormant in the spring is guaranteed to break dormancy even if it takes more than one month.  Call us directly if you have any concerns.


Photos of the plant(s) will be required so that we may provide the best assistance possible.


A plant refund is based on the plant cost less discounts and shipping charges.  Allow up to 2 weeks for processing.  We reserve the right to request a return of an item. Click here to request a refund.

Product Care

After 60 days, we cannot be responsible for product that is in your care.  This includes overwintering, animals, insects, diseases, poor planting, plants beyond their hardiness zone, drought, flooding, etc.  Our expert staff is here to assist you with any problem you may be experiencing.  Our goal is that you are successful with our product.

Our Record

Our parent company,, has successfully shipped high quality plants for more than ten years.  We take the same pride in the quality of plants sold here at

USDA Hardiness Zones

USDA Hardiness Zones Map


The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has devised a system to provide gardeners with a basic guide to plant hardiness – how much winter cold a plant can withstand. The Hardiness Zone Map system divides the United States and Canada into numbered zones based on lowest average winter temperature. Even within a zone, different micro-climates exist, such as large urban areas which may be warmer or land situated at different elevations.


The Hardiness Zone Map is a valuable tool but it is not foolproof. There are a variety of factors that can influence the hardiness of a given plant in a garden. These factors include: soil type, drainage, snow cover, exposure to wind, winter, rainfall (or lack of), as well as fluctuations in temperature.


When you are on a plant page, scroll down until you see the bold "Hardiness" text.

Shipping Policy

Use collapsible tabs for more detailed information that will help customers make a purchasing decision.

Ex: Shipping and return policies, size guides, and other common questions.

Shipping Policy

How to Contact Us: 
General Customer Service & Phone Orders:
Phone: 1-877-447-4769 (Monday-Friday 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM EST).
Mail:, 12601 120th Avenue, Grand Haven, MI 49417

Shipping costs

We try to keep shipping rates as low as possible to offer you the best value. Unlike other companies, with us, when you buy more, you save more on shipping! Our standard rates are:

 Order Value:

Shipping Cost:

$0.01 – $39.99


$40.00 – $59.99 


$60.00 – $99.99


$100.00+ FREE


Don't worry: our discount rates don't mean we cut corners on shipping. Our professional shipping staff packs each order - each plant! - with the care they'd take in their own gardens. Your plants will arrive in good, healthy condition, ready for you and your visiting pollinators to enjoy. 

Customer Reviews

Based on 10 reviews
Mary W.

Looked good. Planted it

Love My New Black Cat Pussywillow!

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.

Still growing in the fall

They arrived healthy and are looking good. I can't wait till they bloom in the spring!

Replacement on Damaged Plants

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.

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!