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Monday, 6 February 2017

Garrya elliptica, Silk tassel bush, Silver tassel shrub evergreen grey catkins

Garrya elliptica silver tassel bush evergreen shrub with silver grey catkins
 Shrub with silver grey catkins Garrya elliptica Silk Tassel Bush
The evergreen shrub Garrya Elliptica is commonly known as the The Silk Tassel Bush. It brings much needed Winter interest to a garden, largely because of the silver grey catkins which appear from around December through to early Spring here in Britain
Picture of Garrya elliptica silk tassel bush evergreen shrub
Garrya Elliptica originates from North America, principally from coastal California. It has a compact habit and can be planted as a single free standing specimen, or together as a hedge, and can be a very effective espalier or fan trained against a wall. .
Picture of Silk grey catkins on evergreen shrub Garrya elliptica
The Silk Tassel bush is a dioecious shrub. That is to say there are both male and female plants. The difference is reasonably easy to determine and its all about the tassels. Male Garrya's have greener grey tassels with some cultivars growing as long as 12 inches (30cm). The females tassels tend to be shorter at around 3.5 inches (9cm) with a more silvery grey look.
Picture of Silk tassel bush evergreen shrub with grey catkins
This particular evergreen doesn't require a great deal of pruning especially if your specimen is free standing. However should you wish to reduce its size pruning is best done in Spring. The silk tassel catkins that have provided a wonderful show over Winter will have begun fading and the shrub will be shedding any yellow or brown leaves in preparation for new growth so now is the time to shape it. Spring is also the time to cut Garrya hedges.
Picture of Winter evergreen shrub Garrya elliptica silk tassel bush
Garrya Elliptica prefers soil that is well drained and loamy. As with all shrubs soak the root ball and dig a hole twice the size of the pot backfilling with plenty of compost and a handful of fish blood and bone. This will give your Silk tassel bush the best start. Ideally you should site it in a sheltered position away from frosty winds as the leaves are susceptible to scorch.

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