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Botany Photo of the Day
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Garrya ×issaquahensis 'Pat Ballard'

Garrya ×issaquahensis 'Pat Ballard'

This inflorescence of 'Pat Ballard' tassel bush (or silk tassel) is not fully developed – hints of flowers emerging from behind the bracts can be imagined, but the reason for the common name is not readily apparent from this image. Instead, please see the University of California Botanical Garden's page on Californian waterwise plants for the flowers of the male parent of this hybrid. For close-ups of the flower, you can see some nifty SEM (scanning electron microscope) images in a paper on Garrya floral morphology (note: PDF): Liston, A. 2003. A new interpretation of floral morphology in Garrya (Garryaceae) . Taxon. 52:271-276. The paper goes into great detail on the structure of the flowers and how misinterpretations of the floral morphology have hampered understanding of the evolutionary relationships.

For a horticultural perspective on the plant, including the origin of its name, please see Bellevue Botanical Garden's Plant of the Month entry for it. The site doesn't allow direct linking to taxon pages, so you'll have to scroll down and find the entry.

Botany resource link: Considering collecting plant specimens for your local herbarium? A tidy “how-to” guide with tips on collecting and preserving can be found here: Field Techniques Used by Missouri Botanical Garden.

3 Comments

Garrya ×issaquahensis: parentage G. elliptica x G. fremontii, according to the info I've got

Garrya x issaquahensis 'Pat Ballard' - Z7 - RHS Index of Garden Plants, Griffiths

Hillier/Coombes, HILLIER MANUAL OF TREES & SHRUBS:

"First raised in Seattle in about 1957, the cross later occurred accidentally in the garden of Mrs Pat Ballard at Issaquah, Washington in 1960. The following clone was raised at Malahide Castle, Ireland. 'Glasnevin Wine' A selection similar to 'Pat Ballard' but with the inflorescences more conspicuously coloured with red-purple. 'Pat Ballard' A male selection with reddish-purple shoots and petioles. Catkins to 22cm long in midwinter, purple-tinged at first becoming green tinged red."

Forestfarm nursery, Williams, Oregon has listed Garrya x issaquahensis 'Carl English', perhaps this name is used for propagations of the first instance in 1957. Carl English developed what became known as the Carl English Botanical Garden, at the Chittenden Locks, Seattle. Some other offerings made in this region have been called simply G. x issaquahensis.

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