The pussy willow usually grows into a large and strong bush rather than a tree. It can be found here and there in the Royal National City Park, close to water. Around the marsh of Isbladskärret it is easy to identify if you look out over the water from the canal side. The pussy willow is common throughout the country but occurs only as single specimens.
The pussy willow flowers in April before or at the same time as the leaves are opening. Male and female flowers sit on different trees and the big yellow male catkins produce large amounts of pollen with high protein content. Many insects depend on this early flowering. The pussy willow is thus one of the most important trees for pollinating insects. A flowering pussy willow in the spring attracts not only bees but also many other types of insects, and thus provides a much needed resting and feeding place for migrating small birds.
Be mindful of the value of the pussy willow before you take a saw to it – after all, 2009 was the year of the pussy willow!