From Homepage October
This species is about the
best native plant ornamental in the northwest. It's a popular garden
plant, as would be expected of anything this showy. These shrubs are
evergreen with tough, opposite leaves. The flowers concentrate in
catkin-like inflorescenes hanging from the tree branch ends, and mature
to cotton puff wind-blown seeds giving these distinctive plants their
Pistillate (female) and
staminate (male) flowers are on separate plants; pistillate flower are
singular within each bract of the catkin chain. The fruit is
purple/black, fleshy within a hard casing. Staminate flowers develop in
groups of three at each bract.
Four species of Garryaceae
are found in the Bay Area; on Montara Mountain, this family is
represented by Garrya elliptica (Coast Silk Tassel).
Will grow in light (sandy),
medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils, and requires good drainage. It
can grow in full shade (deep woodland) semi-shade (light woodland) or no
shade, dry or moist soil and can tolerate drought. The plant can
tolerate maritime exposure as well as atmospheric pollution.