Garrya elliptica
Common name: 
Wavyleaf Silktassel
Coast Silktassel
GAR-i-a E-lip-ti-ka
Native to (or naturalized in) Oregon: 
  • Evergreen shrub, erect, dense, to 8 ft (2.5 m) high and wide, may be a small tree 20-30 ft (6-9 m).  Leaves opposite, simple, elliptical to oval, 4-6 cm long, leathery, margins entire and slightly wavy and irregularly turned under (revolute), glossy, essentially smooth and dark green above, paler and woolly below; petiole stout, to about 13 mm long, grooved and flattened above.  Flowers appear in winter, male and female flowers on separate plants (dioecious), male catkin-like clusters are yellowish to greenish then gray, 8-20 cm long ("silk tassels"), female flower clusters are shorter, 5-9 cm long.  Fruit are in grape-like clusters, each is round, about 6 mm wide, at first green but finally covered with a purplish-gray pubescence; may be present through the summer if not eaten by birds.
  • Sun or part shade.  Not fussy about soil type, if well-drained.  Considered a good foliage plant, can be grown as a hedge, moderate irrigation needed.  Prune immediately after flowering.  A few male cultivars with especially long "tassels" are available, 'James Roof' (30 cm), 'Evie' (25 cm).
  • Hardy to USDA Zone 8     Native to the Coast Range and near the Pacific Ocean from southwest Oregon to southern California.
  • elliptica: elliptical, the leaves
  • Dallas, Oregon: Delbert Hunter Arboretum and Botanic Garden
Click image to enlarge
  • male catkins, early winter

    male catkins, early winter

  • plant habit, winter flowering

    plant habit, winter flowering

  • plant habit, flowering

    plant habit, flowering

  • leaves and male catkins

    leaves and male catkins

  • male catkins and leaves

    male catkins and leaves

  • plant habit, after flowering

    plant habit, after flowering

  • leaves


  • leaf


  • leaves, comparison

    leaves, comparison