Garrya – Popular Shrubs for the Garden

Garrya elliptica


The only species that is commonly grown is Garrya elliptica, that sometimes, for reasons which are obvious when the plant is in flower, known as the Silk Tassel Bush.

It comes from North America and is quite hardy in most parts of the country, although in the North and East it does better if given the protection of a wall. It grows rapidly and in a few years will reach 12-15 feet in height and a well-grown plant may be 6-8 feet wide.

It is not the flowers themselves that make the plant so attractive, but the long, silvery-green catkins in which they  are borne. These, on male plants, may reach a foot long and they make the shrub a most handsome specimen when it is in full flower. The catkins start to appear in November and are very much in evidence until late in February.

This is an easily grown shrub flourishing well on poor soils as well as on chalk or in sea-side gardens. It does not object to a shady position, thus making it suitable for a north or east wall, and does not need pruning.

Perhaps the only point which can be made against it is that it is not easy to transplant, and is best planted out, as a young specimen, from a pot. If you grow one plant only, get the male, for the catkins of the female plant are much shorter.

14. October 2010 by Dave Pinkney
Categories: Herbaceous Plants, Plants & Trees | Tags: , | Comments Off on Garrya – Popular Shrubs for the Garden


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