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Garrya elliptica

Common Name(s):
Coast silk-tassel, Silk tassel bush, Wavyleaf silktassel
'James Root'

Silk tassel bush is a flowering evergreen shrub in the Garryaceae family.  It is native to the coastal ranges in California and Oregon but its neat attractive growing habit makes it appealing as a landscape plant.  It is commoly used as a hedge and has  a moderate to fast growth rate.   Although the flowers bloom in January and February, dried leaves remain on the tree well into summer as light gray decorations. The plant has smooth dark bark, dark-greenish when young, but with age the bark roughens. New twigs are green and moderately stout. 'James Roof' is one popular horticultural variety known for its especially long tassels.

Seasons of Interest:

    Bloom:  Winter-Spring, Feb-May   Foliage: Summer  Bark: Winter

Wildlife Value:  Resistant to damgae by deer.

Play Value: Wind Screen & Buffers; Wildlife Enhancement

Notes: Female plants produce less attractive catkins, than male.

Seed: Berry 

9-15 ft
As with all plants in the genus Garrya, it has opposite leaves that have a tough leathery feel, glossy green on top, but paler and duller on the underside.
Female and male sexual organs of all the Garrya are found on separate plants. The dioecious flowers are concentrated in flower clusters which cascade downward as aments of approximately four to six centimeters in length. While the Coast silk-tassel manifests separate male and female plants, the pendant male catkins are much more showy and are grey-green and up to 30 centimeters long; the female ones are shorter and silver-grey.
Tolerates clay soil and has a low water requirement.
Erect, spherical
evergreenchildren’s garden, winter interest, play, playground, showy blooms, bark, deer resistant, clay soil

NCCES plant id: 3271

Garrya elliptica Form 'James Root'
Jim Linwood, CC BY - 2.0
Garrya elliptica Close up of leaves 'James Root'
Megan Hansen, CC-BY-SA-2.0
Garrya elliptica Flowers
Form 'James Root', CC BY-SA - 4.0
Garrya elliptica Garrya elliptica
Krzysztof Ziarnek, CC BY-SA - 4.0