Salix caprea (Goat Willow, also known as the Pussy Willow or Great Sallow), is a common species of willow native to Europe and western and central Asia. It is a deciduous shrub or small tree, reaching a height of 6-12 m, rarely to 20 m. The leaves are 3-12 cm long and from 2-8 cm wide, broader than most other willows. The flowers are soft silky, silvery 3-7 cm long catkins, produced in early spring before the new leaves appear; the male and female catkins are on different plants (dioecious). The male catkins mature yellow at pollen release, the female catkins maturing pale green. The fruit is a small capsule 5-10 mm long containing numerous minute seeds embedded in fine cottony hairs. The seeds are very small (about 0.2 mm) with the fine hairs aiding dispersal; they require bare soil to germinate.
Catkin, catkins, Hazel, Corylus avellana, male flower, pollen, lamb's tail, (Corylus - Greek korys - Helmet ref to the calyx covering the nut) avellana -- Avella, town in Italy, (nuts cultivated there). Hazel, old English haesel. Harbinger of Spring. William Lee.