Grey Willow

Salix cinerea


Grey Willow, also known as 'Common Sallow', is a large shrub willow. It is found in ditches, reedbeds, wet woodland and urban waste ground. It is one of the UK's commonest willows and is known for the fluffy, silver-grey male catkins - or 'pussy willows' - that appear in January and turn bright yellow in March.

How to identify

Grey Willow can be distinguished from other scrub willows by its relatively small, blunt-ended, oblong leaves, two or three times as long as they are broad.

Where to find it



When to find it

  • January
  • February
  • March
  • April
  • May
  • June
  • July
  • August
  • September
  • October
  • November
  • December

How can people help

The Wildlife Trusts manage many wetland nature reserves for the benefit of all kinds of wildlife, including trees such as willows. But these precious sites are under threat from development, drainage and climate change. You can help by supporting your local Trust and becoming a member; you'll find out about exciting wildlife happenings, events on your doorstep and volunteering opportunities, and be helping local wildlife along the way.

Species information

Common name
Grey Willow
Latin name
Salix cinerea
Trees and shrubs
Height: 5-7m
Conservation status