Garrya Elliptica: Show off your tassels

by zoe | 07.04.2014 | plant , garrya elliptica | 0 comments | Rating: 1 votes

Garrya Elliptica

Garrya Elliptica

Garrya Elliptica

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Like a burlesque dancer, Garrya Elliptica is best placed in a position where it can show off its tassels.

Garrya elliptica is an elegant plant – what else would you expect from a shrub with a name like ‘silk tassel bush‘? It’s like the burlesque dancer of the plant world – a sensational looking plant that will draw you in with its shiny, waxy convex leaves. It also has a dark greenish, smooth bark (which, like the skin of an average dancer, and indeed of us all, gets rougher with age).

Even more like a burlesque dancer is the fact that what draws the most interest on a Garrya Elliptica are its tassels, which cascade downwards during winter. Male and female plants are slightly different – female plants have shorter, greyish-purple flowers, whilst the male version has greyish-green flowers that are much showier; look out for the  James Roof, which has tassels up to 30 centimetres long.

Garrya is a great way to bring interest to your garden in winter – it flowers in mid-winter to early spring. But try to avoid planting it in frost pockets or the coldest part of the UK; unlike some burlesque stars, it doesn’t like to be exposed!

Prune your garrya in early spring, as the catkins start to fade but before new growth starts.  Garrya Elliptica is great for use in hedging, borders or as a windbreak in a coastal garden. Wherever you plant it, you can be sure that it will attract plenty of attention.

Image source: hortulus (some rights reserved)


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