Alphabetical Plant Listing

Garrya elliptica (Silk Tassel Bush)

Wavyleaf Silktassel, Wavy-Leaf Silktassel, Silk-Tassel Bush, Silk Tassel Bush, Coastal Silktassel


Adding visual drama in the winter garden, Garrya elliptica (Silk Tassel Bush) is a large, vigorous, bushy evergreen shrub. Tough and leathery, its elliptical or oval leaves are dark glossy green on top, with undersides that are felted with wholly hairs. Their margins are wavy and may tend to curl. In winter to early spring, the shrub is lit up by long, creamy to greenish yellow catkins, 8 in. long (20 cm), dangling like Christmas decorations. These showy catkins occur only on male plants. Female plants produce shorter catkins, 2-3 in. long (5-7 cm), but bear long clusters of purple-brown fruits in summer that are attractive to birds. Male and female plants must be present for the female plant to bear its grape-like clusters of round berries. Long-lived, Silk Tassel Bush is even attractive when not flowering. Native to the Coast Ranges from southern Oregon to Santa Barbara County in California, it makes an attractive foil for other flowering plants during the growing season and makes a great conversation piece in winter. The two most popular cultivars are both male, ‘James Roof’ and ‘Evie.’ ‘Evie’ has a denser look than ‘James Roof’.

  • Grows up to 6-15 ft. high (180-450 cm) and 6-10 ft. wide (180-300 cm).
  • Performs best in full sun to part shade in well-drained soils. This plant must be given afternoon shade in hot, dry locations. Drought tolerant.
  • Excellent foliage plant to use as a screen, informal hedge, specimen.
  • Prune immediately after flowering.
  • Propagate by semi-hardwood cuttings
  • Generally pest free. Watch for leaf spot. Deer resistant.
  • Native to California and southern Oregon.

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Requirements

Hardiness 8 – 11
Heat Zones 8 – 11
Climate Zones 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24
Plant Type Shrubs
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Early)
Winter
Height 6' – 15' (180cm – 4.5m)
Spread 6' – 10' (180cm – 3m)
Spacing 72" – 120" (180cm – 300cm)
Water Needs Low
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Chalk, Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Well-Drained
Characteristics Showy, Evergreen
Native Plants United States, California, Pacific Northwest, Oregon
Tolerance Deer, Drought, Salt
Garden Uses Hedges and Screens, Wall-Side Borders
Garden Styles City and Courtyard, Coastal Garden, Informal and Cottage

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MarjanCermelj, Coulanges, Shutterstock

While every effort has been made to describe these plants accurately, please keep in mind that height, bloom time, and color may differ in various climates. The description of these plants has been written based on numerous outside resources.


Requirements

Hardiness 8 – 11
Heat Zones 8 – 11
Climate Zones 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24
Plant Type Shrubs
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Early)
Winter
Height 6' – 15' (180cm – 4.5m)
Spread 6' – 10' (180cm – 3m)
Spacing 72" – 120" (180cm – 300cm)
Water Needs Low
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Chalk, Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Well-Drained
Characteristics Showy, Evergreen
Native Plants United States, California, Pacific Northwest, Oregon
Tolerance Deer, Drought, Salt
Garden Uses Hedges and Screens, Wall-Side Borders
Garden Styles City and Courtyard, Coastal Garden, Informal and Cottage

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