Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center - The University of Texas at Austin information

 Native Plant Database

Garrya ovata ssp. lindheimeri

Lindheimer's silktassel, Lindheimer silktassel, Lindheimer's Garrya, Lindheimer Garrya, Mexican silktassel, Mexican Garrya, Eggleaf silktassel, Eggleaf Garrya

Garryaceae (Silktassel Family)

Garrya ovata ssp. lindheimeri (Lindheimer's silktassel)
Lytle, Melody
Evergreen shrub or small tree. Frequent on limestone ledges and rocky slopes of canyons and ravines. Twigs with leaf scars that go completely around them and gray streaks (lenticels) running lengthwise in the reddish brown bark. Leaves opposite, petioled; blade leathery, variable in shape, roughly elliptic, up to 2 1/2 inches long, with a very small, abrupt tip and smooth margins, smooth on the upper surface, velvety on the lower. Flowers about 3/16 inch wide, in simple pendulous clusters from the bases of the leaf petioles, opening in March and April. Fruit fleshy, round, with a short tip, blue with a white coating easily rubbed off, about 3/8 inch in diameter.

This subspecies is named after Ferdinand Jacob Lindheimer (1801-1879) who is often called the Father of Texas Botany because of his work as the first permanent-resident plant collector in Texas. In 1834 Lindheimer immigrated to the United States as a political refugee. He spent from 1843-1852 collecting specimens in Texas. In 1844 he settled in New Braunfels, Texas, and was granted land on the banks of the Comal River, where he continued his plant collecting and attempted to establish a botanical garden. He shared his findings with many others who shared his interest in botany, including Ferdinand von Roemer and Adolph Scheele. Lindheimer is credited with the discovery of several hundred plant species. In addition his name is used to designate forty-eight species and subspecies of plants. He is buried in New Braunfels. His house, on Comal Street in New Braunfels, is now a museum.

Image Gallery:

18 photo(s) available

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Shrub
Leaf Retention: Evergreen
Size Notes: 6-12 feet
Size Class: 6-12 ft.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: Green
Bloom Time: Mar , Apr


Native Distribution: Subspecies lindheimeri limited to central Texas. The species Garrya ovata occurs from central Texas south to central Mexico.
Native Habitat: Grows in rocky limestone hills and canyons in the Edwards Plateau . Seen as an understory plant, occurs at the edge of wooded areas.

Growing Conditions

Water Use: Low
Light Requirement: Part Shade
Soil Moisture: Moist , Dry
Conditions Comments: This evergreen shrubby tree has interesting leaves with wavy edges and blue-black berries. Is often found growing in the understory or woodland edge. Can be temperamental and typically grows in limestone of the Glen Rose formation in the Texas Hill Country.


Interesting Foliage: yes
Attracts: Birds
Deer Resistant: Moderate

Last Update: 2015-06-12