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The pussy willow is a shrub of small tree of the willow family. It grows wild in the eastern part of north America from Nova Scotia to Virginia and west Missouri. They grow best in moist places, but can also grow in dry soils. They seldom grow taller than 20 feet. Pussy willows have several long, straight twigs without side branches. The twigs have many flower buds on them. Early in the spring before the leaves unfold, the flower clusters break out of the hard buds. These clusters are called catkins. Male and female catkins grow on seperate trees. The catkins are long and round, and covered with a dense coat of sily greyish hair. They have been said to resemble tiny kittens climbing up the twig. Later the male catkins develop into larger, loose masses covered with yellow pollen.
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