Marin Master Gardeners
University of California
Marin Master Gardeners

Plant Guide

Garrya elliptica 'James Roof'

Common Name
Coast Silk Tassel
CA Native
California Native
Plant Type
12' x 12'
Flower Color
Bloom Time
  • Spring
Dark Green Above, Wooly, Light Green Below
Deer Resistant
Seldom Damaged
Wildlife Value
  • Attracts Beneficial Insects
  • Bees
  • Bird Habitat
  • Seed and Fruit for Birds
Growth Rate
Adverse Growth Factors
Special Features
  • Espalier
  • Low Maintenance
  • Specimen
Water Use
  • Low
  • Moderate
Soil pH
6.5-7.5 (neutral)
  • Full Sun
  • Partial Shade
  • Shade
Soil Type
Not Particular
Well Drained
Description and Cultural Plant Tips

The Coast Silk Tassel is named for the beautiful,  cream colored 3" - 12" long catkins that dangle from the ends of the branchs from December through February. The male form is the more dramatic in size of the tassels. This large shub looks good as a specimen planting or can also be used as an informal  hedge or screen. The male variety of 'James Roof' has unusually long and dramatic catkins.

Plant slightly above soil grade in well-drained soil. This plant is not fussy about soil type as long as drainage is good.  Water once or twice a week until established. Can be planted in full sun along coastal Marin but light afternoon shade is needed in the hotter parts of Marin.  Plant in a sheltered location if you live in a windy or frost prone part of Marin. Prune immediately after flowering as next years flowers are produced on new branchlets.

The fruit is eaten by birds.

Has no serious pests or diseases as long as the drainage is good.

Master Gardener Comments

G. fremontii - 10' x 10', yellowish-green leaves and yellowish or purple catkins


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