Garrya elliptica
and G. x issaquehensis
Silk Tassel Bush
Male Garrya elliptica in garden in Islandmagee

Family: Garryaceae

Origin: Oregon to California, W USA

Garrya elliptica is a plant of dry soils. It is a large shrub with wavy leaves which are rounded at the tip and are dark green above and grey-woolly underneath. Male and female plants both bear their tiny flowers on long pendent catkins in winter; the male catkins are much more showy and are grey-green and up to 30 cm long; the female ones are shorter and silver-grey; these are followed by purple-green fruits with a deep purple juice.

Male Garrya elliptica in garden in Islandmagee Jan 2009

Introduced in 1828.

Named after Nicholas Garry, of the Hudson's Bay Trading Company, a friend of David Douglas, who helped Douglas on his plant-hunting expeditions.

Garrya x issaquehensis 'Glasnevin Wine' in garden in Islandmagee Jan 2009

G. elliptica has hybridised with G. fremontii to produce G. x issaquahensis, which has two popular male cultivars, 'Pat Ballard' (a selected seedling from American seeds, raised by Lord Talbot de Malahide) and 'Glasnevin Wine' (an artificial cross made by Charles Nelson and selected in the National Botanic Gardens, Glasnevin, Dublin); and also with G. fadyenii.

Click here to go to the Home Page Click here to go to the North American species list
Cookie Policy :: © National Museums Northern Ireland, 2003 - 2009