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Garrya catkins in February at Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle, WA.
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Asterids
Order: Garryales
Family: Garryaceae
Genus: Garrya
Douglas ex Lindl.

See text.

Garrya is a genus of about 18 species of flowering plants in the family Garryaceae, native to North and Central America and the Caribbean. Common names include silk tassel, and tassel bush[1]

They are evergreen dioecious wind-pollinated shrubs growing to 1–5 m (3–16 ft) tall. The leaves are arranged in opposite pairs, and are simple, leathery, dark green to gray-green, ovate, 3–15 cm (1–6 in) long, with an entire margin and a short petiole. The flowers are gray-green catkins, short and spreading when first produced in late summer; the male catkins becoming long and pendulous in late winter when shedding pollen, 3–20 cm (1–8 in) long; the female catkins usually a little shorter and less pendulous. The fruit is a round dry berry containing two seeds.

Selected species[edit]

Cultivation and uses[edit]

Some species, notably Garrya elliptica, are widely cultivated in gardens for their foliage and the catkins produced in late winter. They are frequently grown against a wall, or as a windbreak in coastal areas.[2] Male plants are more widely grown, as their catkins are longer and more attractive; one such cultivar, G. elliptica 'James Roof', has catkins up to 35 cm long. The hybrids G × issaquahensis (G. elliptica × G. fremontii) and G × thuretii (G. elliptica × G. fadyenii) have been bred for garden planting.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ The Names of Plants, D. Gledhill, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK. Rep. 1996. ISBN 9780521366755.
  2. ^ RHS A-Z encyclopedia of garden plants. United Kingdom: Dorling Kindersley. 2008. p. 1136. ISBN 1405332964. 

External links[edit]