Name: Salix humilis var humilis
Bloom Time: April-May
Flower: Greenish-yellow catkins
Soil Condition: Dry, Average
Light: Sun, Partial Shade
Height: 6-12' tall by 4-8' wide
Native Range: Central to Eastern United States including Long Island
Prairie Willow is a fast-growing but short-lived shrub. It is still worth growing because it is a fantastic nectar source for early pollinators. It is the host plant to many butterfly and moth species making this a must-have in a bird garden. It is a great addition to a native hedgerow. Unlike other willows, it prefers drier soil.
Maintenance: Susceptible to wind damage. May be cut back hard if necessary.
Benefits: Willow is the host plant to several butterfly and moth species (400+). Birds eat the seeds and use the fluff from the catkins to line their nests. Attracts many early native pollinators.
Photo Credit: R.W. Smith