Colin Mills, compiler of the Hortus Camdenensis, died in late November 2012 after a short illness. As he always considered the Hortus his legacy, it is his family's intention to keep the site running in perpetuity. It will not, however, be updated in the near future.

Garrya macrophylla Benth.

Frost hardy, robust shrub with leaves to 15cm long and catkins appearing in late spring.  To 3m.  [RHSD, Hortus, Hilliers’].

Horticultural & Botanical History

‘Garrya. One of the most graceful of evergreen shrubs. Its chief beauty, however, consists in its long catkins, which in the winter hang down in elegant tassels from the ends of all the shoots: these catkins, which, in fact, consist of the male bloom, are of a greenihh-yellow colour. It is hardy, grows shrubby, and is manageable under the knife, so that it may be kept bushy and short, or allowed to grow more pyramidal and elegant. It prefers a loamy soil, not too adhesive, and is propagated best by layers, which, if put down one autumn, will secure plants by the next. The layers should be cut off in autumn and potted, placed in a cold frame to establish themselves, and may then at any time be planted out where they may be seen to advantage, for they would be lost in a crowd of brighter shrubs. They may also be increased by cuttings planted under hand-glasses towards the end of summer. One of its claims to attention is that it blooms while very small, and looks very well in a pot. Its blooms, or rather catkins, remain for some time in perfection. G. elliptica, G. laurifolia, and G. macrophylla are the best.’  [Glenny – the Handbook to the Flower Garden and Greenhouse p.123/1859].

Introduced to Britain in 1846.  [JD].

History at Camden Park

Listed only in the 1857 catalogue [T.501/1857] but certainly grown at Camden by 1853 as plants were sent to the Sydney Botanic Garden in that year.  [RBGS AB].


Published Mar 16, 2009 - 04:53 PM | Last updated Mar 21, 2010 - 12:45 PM

Family Garryaceae
Region of origin


  • Garrya laurifolia subsp. macrophylla (Benth.) Dahling
Common Name

Silk-tassel bush

Name in the Camden Park Record

Garrya macrophylla

Confidence level high