Goat Willow

┬ęBrian Eversham

Goat Willow

┬ęBrian Eversham

Goat willow

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Scientific name: Salix caprea
One of our commonest willows, the Goat willow is a small tree that is found in ditches, reedbeds and wet woodland. It is well-known for its silver, fluffy catkins that give it another name, 'Pussy willow'.

Top facts


Height: up to 10m

Conservation status


When to see

January to December


The Goat willow, also known as the 'Pussy willow', is a small willow tree found in ditches, reedbeds and wet woodland, and on urban waste ground. It is one of the UK's commonest willows and is known for the fluffy, silver-grey, male catkins - or 'pussy willows' - that appear in January and turn bright yellow in March.

What to look for

The Goat willow is a small, scrub-forming tree. It has broad, round leaves, with bent, pointy tips and thick, silky hairs on their undersides. Its male catkins are silver-grey, roundish and turn yellow when ripe; its female catkins are green.

Where to find


Did you know?

The Goat willow has many common names, including 'Great Sallow', 'Sally' and 'Black Sally'; the name 'Palm willow' refers to its use as a decoration in churches during Easter.