Winter Blooming Native – Coast Silk Tassel

Garrya elliptica, coast silk tassel is a striking native shrub, and unusual in several ways.  The slightly wavy, somewhat glossy leaves resemble camellia leaves – and like camellias, silk tassels are evergreen.  Coast silk tassel is particularly notable in the winter, when it is covered in long grey-green catkin flowers.  Individual plants are either male or female – the males have showier flowers, but the females will (if pollinated) produce a small non-showy fruit for some of our native birds.  Coast silk tassel is a rather large shrub, reaching as much as 10-12 ft. tall and wide; it prefers part shade and good drainage.