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Pussy Willow vs Empress Tree

Salix discolor

Paulownia tomentosa

Pussy Willow
Empress Tree

Pussy Willow is a large shrub or small tree that produces catkins that are soft, silky, and silvery before leaves appear in the spring. This native willow prefers moist to wet soil.

Pussy Willow makes a beautiful accent tree, and its bright branches can be used for floral arrangements or basket making.

All willow are important to native pollinators each spring as they have higher amounts of pollen and nectar early each growing season when other food sources are scarce.

The Empress Tree is a fast growing, ornamental shade tree. It has purple, fragrant flowers that are quite attractive. The flowers emerge before the leaves in early spring. The leaves of this tree can grow very large, up to 30 cm long.

As one of the fastest growing trees in the world, this tree has been given considerable attention for carbon sequestration projects. It drops many seeds which can make it invasive in warmer climates. Please do some research and plant the right tree in the right place.

The Empress tree’s genus name comes from Princess Paulowna, daughter of Tsar Paul I of Russia.

PUSSY WILLOW QUICK FACTS

EMPRESS TREE QUICK FACTS

Lowest Price: $3.69 - SAVE UP TO 38%
Lowest Price: $17.99 - SAVE UP TO 28%
Zone: 2a
Zone: 5a
Height: 7 m (23 ft)
Height: 9 m (30 ft)
Spread: 3 m (10 ft)
Spread: 9 m (30 ft)
Moisture: normal, wet
Moisture: normal
Light: partial shade, full sun
Light: full sun
Fuzz/fluff: yes
Catkins: yes
Flowers: light purple
Growth rate: fast
Growth rate: very fast
Life span: long
Life span: medium
Suckering: high
Suckering: medium





Other Names: american willow
Other Names: chinese empress tree, foxglove tree, princess tree, royal paulownia