Garrya × issaquahensis

Common Name: tassel bush 
Type: Broadleaf evergreen
Family: Garryaceae
Native Range: Garden origin
Zone: 7 to 9
Height: 8.00 to 10.00 feet
Spread: 6.00 to 8.00 feet
Bloom Time: December to February
Bloom Description: Creamy white to pale yellow with grey or pink highlights
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Dry to medium
Maintenance: Low
Suggested Use: Hedge
Flower: Showy
Leaf: Evergreen
Other: Winter Interest


Best grown in medium to dry, slightly acidic, well-draining soil in full sun to part shade. Avoid exposed sites with cold winter winds. Hardy in Zones 7-9. The hybrid selection is more tolerant of cold temperatures and dry soils compared to the parent species.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Garrya × issaquahensis, commonly called tassel bush, is a cultivated interspecific hybrid of G. fremontii and G. elliptica. Both species are native to the Pacific coast of the United States, but have not been found to hybridize in the wild. This plant is an informal evergreen shrub with a rounded to slightly spreading habit, reaching up to 10' tall with an 8' spread. This plant is characterized by its glossy, somewhat wavy evergreen foliage and its showy, winter-blooming, catkin inflorescences. The male catkins are made up of small, connected segments and can reach up to 12" long. Color can range from creamy white to pale yellow, with hints of grey and pink. The female catkins are shorter and not as showy. For this reason, many tassel bushes available on the market are male individuals grown from cuttings or otherwise cloned from a choice male specimen.

Genus name honors Nicholas Garry, Secretary of the Hudson's Bay Company, who, during the decade 1820-1830, assisted David Douglas in his explorations of the Pacific Northwest.

The specific epithet issaquahensis refers to the town of Issaquah, Washington, where seeds from a female Garrya fremontii that was pollinated by a male G. elliptica were collected from the garden of Page (Pat) Ballard.


No known pest or disease problems.


Takes well to pruning, and can be used as an informal screen or hedge. A wonderful specimen plant for adding winter interest to a mixed border. For the showiest plants, seek out male cultivars or shop for this plant in winter when in bloom.