Friends of Kootenay Blog

Access stories and photos about the natural and human history of Kootenay National Park and Columbia Valley Includes highlights about the Friends of Kootenay National Park activities and programs.

 

Signs of Spring - Pussy Willows

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Fuzzy catkins on willows, emerge from a closed bud stimulated by an increase in temperature. Photo by Larry Halverson

 

Pussy willows emerge in early spring when it's still quite cold. But when the sun shines, the temperature of the center of the catkin can rise above air temperatures by trapping the heat from the sun with it's “fur coat” of soft, silvery, insulating hairs. This additional warming helps the development of the willow flowers.


There are 19 species of willows in Kootenay National Park. So next time you are out for a walk take a moment to examine some pussy willows. You may even see a "willow rose" which is the topic for the next blog post.