Garrya elliptica Dougl. ex Lindl.
Wavyleaf silktassel, Wavy-leaf silktassel, Silk-tassel bush, Coastal silktassel
Cornaceae (Dogwood Family)
Wavy-leaf silktassel is a 10 ft. evergreen shrub with dense, dark, gray-green foliage. Clusters of foot-long, light-green catkins with a silvery sheen, contrast with the foliage in winter. Evergreen shrub or small tree with tassel-like clusters of flowers and fruit and paired, leathery, wavy-edged leaves. Foliage and other parts have bitter taste. These showy catkins occur only on male plants. Female plants produce less attractive catkins, but bear small, purple fruits. Leaves have a conspicuous wavy margin.
This is the only native species of Garrya reaching tree size. This distinct genus of shrubs and small trees is often placed separately in the Silktassel Family (Garryaceae). Although various parts have a bitter taste, as the name Quininebush suggests, goats browse the foliage.
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Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial Habit: Shrub Fruit: Size Class:
Bloom InformationBloom Color: White
Bloom Time: Jan , Feb , Dec
Bloom Notes: Male and female catkins on separate plants, creamy color.
CA , OR Native Distribution:
In CA, Coast Ranges from Ventura Co. n. to Lincoln Co., OR Native Habitat:
Dry slopes and ridges below 2000 ft. USDA Native Status: L48(N)
Growing ConditionsLight Requirement:
Sun , Part Shade Soil Description:
Well-drained soils. Conditions Comments:
This plant must be given afternoon shade in hot, dry sites. Hot winds will scorch the leaves. G. flavescens and G. fremontii are similar, less showy in bloom, but more tolerant of heat and drought. Some authors segregate member of the Garrya genus
into a separate family, the Garryaceae.
Last Update: 2009-04-08