wavyleaf silktassel Garryaceae Garrya
elliptica Douglas ex Lindl. symbol: GAEL
Leaf: Opposite, simple, evergreen and leathery, ovate, to 3 1/2 inches, entire and obviously wavy revolute margins, shiny dark green above, pale woolly-pubescent below and on the short petiole.
Flower: Species is dioecious; produced in silky drooping spikes (tassels), 2 to 5 inches long, lacking petals, pale purple and yellow, appearing mid-winter.
Fruit: Several round berry-like drupes borne in pairs on 1 1/2 to 3 inch-long tassels, individual berries 1/4 inch, purple-blue but covered in silky white pubescence, somewhat persistent.
Twig: Moderate to stout, new growth is green and covered in pale pubescence, becoming brown, twigs may be 4-angled.
Bark: Gray-brown and initially smooth, becoming irregularly rough.
Form: Commonly an arching or irregular shrub to 10 feet, on very good sites may develop into a small tree (to 30 feet).
Looks like: ashy silktassel - bearbrush - Wright silktassel
Additional Range Information: Garrya elliptica is native to North America. Range may be expanded by planting. See states reporting wavyleaf silktassel.
External Links: USDA Plants Database
All material © 2017 Virginia Tech Dept. of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation; Photos and text by: John Seiler, Edward Jensen, Alex Niemiera, and John Peterson