This ornamental willow is bearing attractive catkins in the Winter Garden.
Tucked amongst the plantings in the southern border of the Winter Garden, Salix gracilistyla ‘Mount Aso’ adds further winter interest. S. gracilistyla, or pussy willow, is one of approximately 300 species from around the world (except Australasia), which are associated with damp habitats. It originates from eastern Asia, and has a spreading, arching habit and occasionally finely toothed, oval, leaves with a silky lower surface. For much of the year it is easily overlooked, but in winter soft pink, downy catkins clothe the stems, and these fatten as the season progresses.