Weeping willow are an omnipresent tree species in warm climates, found from prairie lands to wetland areas. Growing in the USDA Plant Hardiness Zones 4 and 5, willow trees self-fertilise and propagate with seedpods -- small papery purses full of seeds that scatter in the wind. The weeping willow tree is one of the cultivars of the willow, of genus Salix. Other weeping willow varieties produce various seedpods and have different distribution methods.
Common Weeping Willow Seeds
The common weeping willow tree (Niobe) has seedpods shaped like a cylindrical, beaked capsule. Each capsule contains many tiny seeds about 0.1mm in size. Each seed has a long, white ,corn silk hair attached that carries the seed widely by wind. Unlike other weeping willow varieties, this species has bright yellow twigs.
Wisconsin Weeping Willow Seeds
The Wisconsin weeping willow (Salix) has shorter "weeping" leaf shoots than the common weeping willow. Each spring, the branches produce a slim, silver-green, female catkins, or seedpods, around 1 1/4 inches long. The yellow, tail-looking flower clusters contain mainly unisexual flowers. The bristled flower-clusters contain numerous seedlings arranged tightly along a central stem.
Prairie Cascade Willow Seeds
The prairie cascade willow, which grows in hardier climates, does not have catkin seedpods like other willow species. Instead, as a hybrid of the common weeping willow and glossy-leafed laurel willow, this tree holds its leaves and seedlings late into the fall and does not disperse seed packets into the air. The seedpod is a capsule full of cottony seedlings. Because the seedpods do not fall as often as the common willow tree's, the prairie willow is not considered a "messy" weeping variety.