I stumbled across a single coast silk tassel in the forest above Tomales Bay recently (Garrya elliptica, first written about in this blog here). The small tree was little more than a single lean branch sprawling across the trail–but it was laden with long, creamy white flowers.
The longer I looked at these intricate blooms the more I was enthralled. They dangle from tiered bracts, six delicate flowers emerging from the side of each furred sheath. The petals are mere ribbons, fused at their tips and bowing open at the center to frame each delicate anther on this male tree. I indulged myself with taking many, many photos of this nearly unbelievably pretty display.