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Garrya elliptica or 'Silk Tassel Tree'

garrya elliptica

If you are looking for a tree that adds interest to the garden in winter, is easy care and requires little water once established then Garrya eliptica could be the one for you. And it is the flowering time that makes this such a useful plant in gardens across the country.

You can get both male and female plants, and the catkins will differ. The female catkins are followed by small berries and are said to be prettier. However the male catkins are longer and you do not get the berries, which can be an advantage.

And after its winter show, it also makes a great bachdrop for other plants through summer and fall.

Garrya eliptica is a widely used shrub or small evergreen tree native to Oregon and California. A bushy evergreen tree or shrub grown for graceful silvery catkins, which appear during winter and spring.

Foliage is rounded green and quite tough, however it really is the flowers or 'catkins' that appear to cover the tree in late winter that make this such a garden worthy plant.


  • The form Garrya Elliptictia 'Evie' is a compact form, more suited to coastal conditions than some others.

  • Garrya Elliptica 'James Roof' is a strong vigorous form of the Silk Tassel Tree reaching 4m with a spread of 4m. Extra long catkins to 20 cm in winter.

Pruning Garrya eliptica

Although these wonderful trees not not require regular pruning you can remove any dead or dammaged wood at any time of the year.

With a natural growth habit that attractive, Garrya eliptica is best left unpruned in most cases.

If you are looking at creating a denser small tree you can commence tip pruning at an early age. However we yo do rally like the results of this sort of pruning.


Where to buy

Readily available at good nurseries.