Ch. 21 "had blossomed in gray balls. She reached to touch one carefully. It was furry and soft as the kitten Prudence had once held,". What bush is it

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wannam | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator

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My guess would be that this description is referring to a pussy willow bush.  The bush gets it's name because the catkins, or flower like portion of the plant, is as soft as a cat.  The pussy willow, or Salix discolor, is found in the New England area where this story takes place.  I have often seen it growing aside lakes and in lightly wooded areas just as the plant in the book is described.  The story also describes a short bush which is very fitting to the pussy willow.  This short plant does not usually grow above 6 meters.  If you have ever held a pussy willow branch, it is covered in little gray-white balls that are fluffy and soft like cotton or animal fur.  It is often used in decorating because of it's appealing touch and look.