Willow catkins

Spring is here in my area, but it’s just beginning. Garden snowdrops and witch hazel are blooming, and willow catkins are out, but most spring wildflowers are weeks away.

I found the common willow catkins in the wild, but the rosegold willow catkins (Salix gracilistyla) are from Arnold Arboretum in Boston. Rosegold willow is an asian species. The red-then-gold anthers were worth a drive into the city to see.


16 thoughts on “Willow catkins

  1. Your mention of Boston makes me wonder whether you’ve been to the New England Wild Flower Society’s Garden in the Woods in Framingham. I took pictures there last June.

    Happy beginning of spring to you, finally.

    • I’ve been to Garden in the Woods many, many times, I’ve been a NEWFS member for years. The garden doesn’t open until mid-April, I’m looking forward to seeing hepatica and maybe some bloodroot by then.

  2. The common catkins bring back memories of childhood. I can feel that silky softness. The rosegold catkins are beautiful, and intriguing. I know I’ve found a flower here whose anthers change color, but I can’t remember which one. Now, I’m going to pay more attention.

  3. I’ve never seen these close up before — to have such an interesting and beautiful sight, under our noses, unseen, so thanks! I have to dig out my pocket magnifying glass and keep it in my jacket pocket.

    • You’ll need a magnifying glass – I used 4x magnification for the rosegold willow images. I’ve only found them at the Arboretum, though – hope you can find them in your area.

  4. Pussy willows! A childhood delight, still enjoyed today. A friend of mine is a teacher, and she told me her students aren’t familiar with these! Can you believe it? How sad. I love these gorgeous photos.

    • Thanks, Melissa! 🙂 I like the common catkins almost as much as the fancy rosegold ones. You friend should take her students out for a walk and show them willow catkins.

      • She does when she gets a chance to. Her point is, that was once just a part of childhood and now, it seems, it isn’t.

      • Exactly. I know it is a cliche, but what is the world coming to with the younger generation so completely disconnected from nature?

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