Garrya elliptica ‘James Roof’
Common name: Silk tassel bush
Arching over the green Jade Water Fountain just before the wooden bridge is Garrya elliptica ‘James Roof’. The species is native to the American West Coast and was named for Nicholas Garry, a secretary of the Hudson’s Bay Company, who organized expeditions to North America for plant hunters in the 19th century. It tends to be overlooked nowadays as a landscape plant, even though it is a hardy, salt-tolerant, handsome evergreen with long, striking drooping catkins. A little pruning can deal with any winter damage and size control. February/March 2020 Self-guided Tour, Contributor: Vivien Clarke
James Roof was the founding director of Tilden Regional Parks Botanical Garden, near Berkeley, California, where this form was first found.
Photos by Tresa Horney, except
Long tassels in winter photo by Seán A. O'Hara, via Wikimedia Commons