Exposure: Sun-Partial Sun Soil: Dry-Medium Mature Height: 8 feet Mature Width: 8 feet Blooms: Spring
Notable Features: A vibrant green shrub, it adds a touch of emerald to any garden. It is common to see this plant thriving in the gravely/sandier soils. It is a relatively short growing shrub, usually growing 4 to 5 feet. However, given the proper environments, Prairie Willow can grow wider and taller. New Prairie Willow plants can be started by simply cutting the stem (a practice commonly referred to as cloning) and planting the cut-off portion in soil. Roots will begin to grow shortly thereafter. Grows quickly and will spread.
Attracts: The catkins of Prairie Willow attract primarily small bees and flies, including Cuckoo bees (Nomada spp.), Halictid bees (Halictus spp., Lasioglossum spp.), Andrenid bees (Andrena spp.), Syrphid flies, Calliphorid flies, Muscid flies, and others. Among the Andrenid bees, the following species are specialist pollinators of willows: Andrena bisalicis, Andrena erythrogaster, Andrena fenningeri, Andrena illinoiensis, Andrena mariae, and Andrena salictaria. These insects seek nectar and pollen from the florets of the catkins. Many other insects feed on the foliage, bore through the wood, or suck plant juices from willows. The Prairie Willow is also the preferred host plant for the leafhopper Empoasca humilis. Caterpillars of the butterflies Satyrium acadicum (Acadian Hairstreak) and Limenitis archippus (Viceroy) feed on the leaves of willows, as do the caterpillars of the skipper Erynnis icelus (Dreamy Duskywing).