This selection of the silk-tassel bush is showing silver-grey catkins in the shrubbery by the fountain.
Numbering 13 species of evergreen shrubs from the western Unites States, Central America and the West Indies the genus Garrya brings welcome winter interest. All have opposite pairs of glossy, leathery foliage, often with undulating margins, and pendent catkins of petal-less flowers. The genus is dioecious, with male and female catkins borne on separate plants, and the males tend to be more attractive than the females. ‘James Roof’ is a male form, which carries dense clusters of silky, silver-grey catkins up to 20 cm in length from early to late winter. It is a selection of the more familiar species, Garrya elliptica, which comes from California and Oregon, where it grows in scrub, chaparral and evergreen forests.