This is one in a weekly series featuring the UC Davis Arboretum Durable Delights, 30 can't-fail, easy-care plants well-adapted to our region.
Evie's silk tassel
Garrya elliptica "Evie"
Size: 6 to 10 feet tall
Bloom season: Late winter, early spring
Exposure: Full sun to partial shade
Pruning needs: Little or none; prune to shape
Water needs: Once established, water deeply every two weeks
Snapshot: Also called coast silk tassel, this slow-growing native shrub grows in the coastal ranges of Northern California and southern Oregon. Tolerant of drought, salt and wind, it thrives in dry, well-drained soils but can handle summer water, too. This evergreen shrub can grow as wide as it is tall with a well-rounded shape and makes an excellent screen or informal hedge. Cascading flowers give this bush its silky nickname. In late winter, foot-long catkins of creamy-white flowers with a maroon tinge hang like silk tassels from the branches. You can see specimens in the Arboretum Terrace Garden on the UC Davis campus.
For more on Durable Delights, click on http://arboretum.ucdavis.edu.
See photo galleries of the arboretum's Community Favorites and Arboretum All-Stars at sacbee.com/community-favorites.