Garrya elliptica is a shrub or tree in the Garryaceae family with a bushy habit that can grow to about 3.5m tall fairly rapidly. In milder areas it can reach 4.5m in height. It's leaves are oval to roundish in shape, dark shining green above, felted grey beneath. From late winter to early spring it produces long, grey-green male flowers arranged in catkin structures. The female plant is less commonly seen, but after flowering, may produce long clusters of purple-brown fruits in summer.