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

Fadyenia Endl.

Garrya is a genus of flowering plants in the family Garryaceae, native to Mexico, the western United States, Central America and the Greater Antilles.[1] Common names include silk tassel, and tassel bush[2]

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.[3]


  1. Garrya buxifolia – Dwarf silktassel; western Oregon, northern California
  2. Garrya congdonii – Chaparral silktassel; California
  3. Garrya corvorum - Guatemala
  4. Garrya elliptica – Coast silktassel, wavyleaf silktassel; western Oregon, western California
  5. Garrya fadyenii – Fadyen's silktassel; Cuba, Jamaica, Hispaniola; naturalised in Leeward Islands
  6. Garrya flavescens – Ashy silktassel; California and Baja California north east to Utah and New Mexico
  7. Garrya fremontii – Bearbrush silktassel; southern Washington, Oregon, California, northwestern Nevada
  8. Garrya glaberrima - Coahuila, Tamaulipas, Nuevo León
  9. Garrya grisea - Baja California
  10. Garrya laurifolia – Laurelleaf silktassel; widespread from Chihuahua and Tamaulipas south to Panama
  11. Garrya longifolia - Durango, Jalisco, Guerrero, Michoacán, Oaxaca, Morelos, Mexico State, Distrito Federal de México
  12. Garrya ovata – Eggleaf silktassel; New Mexico, Texas, Chihuahua, Oaxaca
  13. Garrya salicifolia – Willowleaf silktassel; Baja California, Baja California Sur
  14. Garrya veatchii – Canyon silktassel; California, Baja California
  15. Garrya wrightii – Wright's silktassel; Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Chihuahua, Sonora, Durango, Coahuila

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.[4] 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.


  1. ^ a b Kew World Checklist of Selected Plant Families
  2. ^ The Names of Plants, D. Gledhill, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK. Rep. 1996. ISBN 9780521366755.
  3. ^ Dahling, G. V. 1978. Systematics and evolution of Garrya. Contributions from the Gray Herbarium of Harvard University 209: 1–104
  4. ^ RHS A-Z encyclopedia of garden plants. United Kingdom: Dorling Kindersley. 2008. p. 1136. ISBN 1405332964.

External links[edit]