Garrya elliptica 'James Roof'

Silk-tassel bush

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Key information

Plant type

Evergreen shrub

Flower colour






Skill level


photo by FhF Greenmedia, copyright GAP Photos (22039)

Plant details

Male forms of Garrya elliptica are impressive plants when laden with their long elegant tassels in winter and early spring. Female plants have much smaller catkins and clusters of round deep purple fruits in summer. 'James Roof' is the most popular variety because its tassels are much longer than the species, 20-30cm (10in)ong and lasting for many weeks, making a striking backdrop to other smaller plants. The shrubs are nominally hardy, although without the shelter of a warm wall some foliage might suffer wind scorch, and are unaffected by salt winds and city air. The Royal Horticultural Society has given it its prestigious Award of Garden Merit (AGM).

Family: Garryaceae

Genus: Garrya

Species: elliptica

Cultivar: James Roof

Plant type: Evergreen shrub

Flower colour: Green

Foliage colour: Dark green

Feature: Flowers

Sun exposure: Full sun, Partial shade

Soil: Well-drained/light, Clay/heavy, Acidic, Chalky/alkaline

Hardiness: Hardy

Skill level: Experienced

Height: 400cm

Spread: 400cm

Time to take cuttings: June to July

Flowering period: November to February

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