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Mar 21, 2021 1:34 PM CST
Name: Bria
Northern VA (Zone 7a)
Birds Houseplants
Does this sapling look like a pussy willow (not the Japanese Laurel)? The texture is velvety.

Previous owners said there once was a pussy willow on my property that was grown from a cutting from the White House circa JFK, but it was struck by lightning many years ago. They told me to keep an eye out in case it comes back.

Could this be it?
Thumb of 2021-03-21/Bschmuck/f47b26


Thumb of 2021-03-21/Bschmuck/dde4d6
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Mar 21, 2021 6:00 PM CST
Name: John
Scott County, KY (Zone 5b)
You can't have too many viburnums..
Region: United States of America Region: Kentucky Farmer Cat Lover Birds Bee Lover
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Sorry Bschmuck, but that appears to be a Hibiscus syriacus seedling rather than a Pussy Willow.

Rose of Sharon are pretty common shrubs, and many seed themselves about with abandon. A seedling is not going to be anything of import, and more likely to be a problem plant if you are seeking a better behaved landscape.
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Mar 21, 2021 6:12 PM CST
Name: Bria
Northern VA (Zone 7a)
Birds Houseplants
@viburnumvalley thank you, John! Yes, you are right. Shortly after posting my question I took a closer look at the rose of Sharons literally everywhere else in my yard and reluctantly came to the same conclusion. Those things are relentless!

I'm impressed you can identify a twig that looks to me like any other twig in the world from a picture.

I'll keep looking out for that willow!
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Mar 21, 2021 6:28 PM CST
San Francisco Bay area (Zone 9a)
I can't believe the powers-that-be let you say pussy.
Test: pussy, pussy, pussy.
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Mar 21, 2021 8:17 PM CST
Name: Ginger
Fountain, Florida (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Plays in the sandbox Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Region: Gulf Coast Tip Photographer The WITWIT Badge
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Native Plants and Wildflowers Birds Plumerias Hummingbirder Dog Lover
??? Confused Confused
Pussy Willow is the name of a plant
Each cloud has a silver lineing if only you look for it.
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Mar 21, 2021 8:30 PM CST
Name: John
Scott County, KY (Zone 5b)
You can't have too many viburnums..
Region: United States of America Region: Kentucky Farmer Cat Lover Birds Bee Lover
Butterflies Enjoys or suffers hot summers Enjoys or suffers cold winters Dog Lover Hummingbirder Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge)
Slow day out in the Bay?

I learned this plant 35 years ago as Salix discolor - Pussy Willow. Soft and fuzzy buds, like a cat.

Pussy Willow (Salix discolor)

I suppose there is juvenile humor to be found in many plant names. There are chuckles in Mammillaria, Clitoria, and even Amorphophallus. If pressed, I'll laugh at Rubus cockburnianus.

Yeah, so?
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Mar 21, 2021 8:43 PM CST
Name: John
Scott County, KY (Zone 5b)
You can't have too many viburnums..
Region: United States of America Region: Kentucky Farmer Cat Lover Birds Bee Lover
Butterflies Enjoys or suffers hot summers Enjoys or suffers cold winters Dog Lover Hummingbirder Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge)
Hi Bschmuck:

Yes, well, when you work with and look at plants for the better part of your adult life, it almost becomes second nature to recognize these little devils - even when only encountered digitally. I am glad to be of assistance.

I also happen to be a close acquaintance with an agent in the Secret Service. If I ever have reason to visit to tour the White House again - fat chance with all the shenanigans in Washington these days - I'll see if they are pruning the Salix discolor and will ask for a couple cuttings to root. The USNA is another route to the same result. Maybe Dr. Olsen could pull some strings.

He probably wouldn't even smirk if I used the common name...
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