[photo taken 3-22-10, the week after we moved in.]
This slender dooryard tree has intrigued us ever since our arrival.
J.M. was able to name the shrubs and plants unfamiliar to us, all but this one.
As it produced these silky grey "kittens" followed by yellow-furred catkins, we have referred to it as the pussy willow tree.
Today the grey pusskins were again in evidence against the blue sky.
On a whim, as I do like to know the proper names for plants, I typed "pussy willow tree" into the google search engine.
J. is quite pleased to learn that he has been calling it by its familiar name.
The proper name is salix caprea or goat willow.
In Europe the plant is known as "sallow."
This is not the common pussywillow which is naturalized at the edges of marsh land or low wet places in New England. That familiar shrub is salix discolor.
My father knew where the pussywillows grew and brought home the first of them, still in their tight red-brown scaly buds. Put in a vase without water they stood on the dining room buffet for weeks, until displaced by summer flowers.
Placed in water the grey pussies quickly became catlets shedding their yellow pollen.
[Tree swallow in residence in salix caprea, May 21, 2010.]
Here is our goat willow--probably planted by the late Mrs. Rogers as an ornamental.
I enjoyed the time spent in learning more about this tree and its relatives....more tidbits of information to tumble into the rag-bag mind.