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 associated with damp habitats, which occur everywhere around the world except Australasia. It originates from eastern Asia, and has a spreading, arching habit and occasionally finely toothed, oval, leaves with a silky lower surface. ‘Mount Aso’ is a selection of S. gracilistyla, and for much of the year it sits unnoticed, but in winter soft pink, downy catkins clothe the stems, and these fatten as the season progresses.