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GARRYACEAE

SILK TASSEL FAMILY

Thomas F. Daniel

Shrub, small tree, dioecious
Leaves simple, opposite, evergreen, petioled; blade ± leathery, flat to concave-convex, margin entire, flat, rolled under, or strongly wavy
Inflorescence catkin-like, pendent; flowers small, in axils of opposite, 4-ranked, basally fused bracts
Staminate flowers (1–)3(4) per bract, pedicelled; perianth parts 4, generally fused at tips; stamens 4, alternate perianth parts, filaments free, anthers 2-chambered
Pistillate flowers (1–)3 per bract; pedicel ± 0 or short; perianth 0 or vestigial with 2 small appendages; ovary inferior, chamber 1, styles 2(3)
Fruit: berry, spheric to ovoid, green, fleshy, becoming dark blue, black, or whitish gray, dry, brittle, not or irregularly dehiscent
Seeds generally 2
Genera in family: 1 genus, 14 species: w US, C.Am, Caribbean; some cultivated
Reference: [Dahling 1978 Contr Gray Herb 209:1–104]

GARRYA

SILK TASSEL BUSH


Etymology: (N. Garry, 1st secretary of Hudson Bay Co., friend of David Douglas, 1782?–1856)
Intergradation among CA species suggests some may be unworthy of that status.

Native

G. flavescens S. Watson

Shrub < 3 m
Leaf 19–75 mm, 9–45 mm wide, 1.3–3.3 X longer than wide, flat to ± concave-convex, elliptic to obovate-elliptic; margin flat to wavy; lower surface hairs ± 0 to ± dense, ± coarse, straight to slightly curved, appressed toward leaf tip
Fruit: hairs generally dense
Ecology: Desert slopes, chaparral, pine/oak woodland
Elevation: 650–2350 m.
Bioregional distribution: Northwestern California, Sierra Nevada, Central Western California, Southwestern California, Desert Mountains
Distribution outside California: to Utah, Arizona, n Baja California
Flowering time: Feb–Apr
Synonyms: var. pallida (Eastw.) Ewan
Variation in hairiness not related to geog in CA
Horticultural information: DRN, DRY, SUN: 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24.

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