E-Flora UW Botanic Gardens Masthead

UW Botanic Gardens Newsletter, Vol 7 Issue 11, November 2012

Announcing the 2012 Wott Student Award Winner

Ilana, John and SarahThe 2012 recipient of the John A. Wott Endowed Student Award is UWBG Graduate student Ilana Calvert. She is pictured here with Professor Emeritus John A. Wott, and Soest Director Sarah Reichard, UWBG. Recipients are graduate students and selection is based on academic merit, as well as demonstrated public service. Students selected for this award are engaged in research that will benefit the Washington Park Arboretum, doing research related to plant collection management, curation, or public service that will support the Arboretum.

We had spotlighted Ms. Calvert back in EFlora back in February, 2012. She has been going through the existing plant list for the Arboretum and identifying all threatened species that appear on the International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List. She will then work with Manager of Horticulture and Plant Records David Zuckerman to develop an assessment matrix for field checks of individual plants. In February she wrote, “I feel, in my work done so far, that I have become acquainted with the Arboretum’s collection on a level much more intimate than many people would experience. I am thrilled to have been given the opportunity to work on a project that has such significant value not just for the Arboretum, but in the area of species conservation as well.”

Book Now For the UWBG Trip to Ecuador and Galapagos Islands 

galapagos baby sealEcuador is home to a wide variety of ecosystems, indigenous peoples and the Galapagos Islands. Join UWBG Director Sarah Reichard on a tour of Ecuador and the Islands. The trip will include a visit to Quito Botanical Garden, hiking along the Amazon River, observing the rainforest while on silent canoe rides and journeying through the Galapagos aboard a first class vessel. You’ll get a chance to swim in Lake Pilchicocha, learn about volcanic formation and interact with giant tortoises and friendly sea lions.

The tour is being arranged through Holbrook Travel and runs from June 5 through June 19, 2013. Take a look at the itinerary for more details and booking information. You have to book by January 11, 2013, so check it out now.

A Glimpse Into the Past

View from Lookout N

(A monthly column by Dr. John A. Wott, Director Emeritus) This is a view from the Lookout, looking northward over the large pond on the south end of Azalea Way. It was taken on March 11, 1958, 54 years ago. Notice the irregular shape of the pond due to the sediment coming down the small stream. The pond’s “march” into Azalea Way needed to be stabilized by concrete abutments in the early 1990s. The large “volunteer” oak tree, now on the northern bank, was non-existent. This indicates how fast a tree can grow in an ideal site. Note the bareness of the lower “swampy” area to the left and small trees along Azalea Way. The buildings and stadium of the University of Washington and houses of Wallingford are in the distance.  (Photo from UWBG Photo Archives.)

Make sure to take a look at the full sized photo

Personal Library Donated

susi george prestonOn Saturday, October 13th, Dr. John A. Wott, Director Emeritus, and UWBG Gardener Preston Pew motored to the home of George and Susi Steiff Pinyuh in rural Kent. George is a retired WSU Extension Horticultural Specialist who worked in Pierce and King Counties, and was one of the founders of the international Master Gardener Program. George was also instrumental in helping to establish close ties between CUH and WSU and helped in setting up the UWBG Master Gardener offices and clinics as well as the professional ProHort programs. George is donating his personal library to the Miller Library. The books are in pristine condition and many will become permanent additions to the Library collections, some replacing books damaged in the fire. The remainder will be sold at the next Library Book Sale. Thanks so much to the Pinyuhs for their gift.    

November 2012 Plant Profile: Miscanthus sinensis 'Little Kitten'

miscanthus [little kitten] in containerOrnamental grasses begin to put on a show in autumn. Striking blades of silvery light greens transition to deep yellows and light tans, adding structure and texture during a time of year when perennial beds are often cut back and put to rest. The genus Miscanthus has always been a staple in terms of ornamental grasses. Native to Japan and China, they are hardy and easy to care for.

Once established, they are drought tolerant, easily maintained, and are capable of possessing year-round interest. Some selections of ornamental grass, however, have a reputation for being too large for the small urban garden. They can be overly vigorous, and in some instances, relentlessly self-seeding. There is a remarkable array of these grasses to choose from, but this one caught my eye two years ago and has continually impressed me since.

‘Little Kitten’ has been a pleasant and manageable ornamental grass. It stays tidy and has a soft, demure elegance to it when used singly as a specimen. It adds a wonderful foil to bold foliage late in the season when massed as a small group in containers.

Common Name: Dwarf Maiden Hair Grass
Location: Soest Garden Bed 4 (Rear)
Origin: Garden Origin
Exposure: Full Sun/Part Shade
Height and spread:
3 to 4 feet tall x 3 feet wide
Bloom Time: mid to late Autumn


yesler swamp 12-09Construction is finally ready to begin on the Yesler Swamp Trail. This was made possible by a $64,000 award from the Seattle Department of Neighborhoods Matching Fund. The design team at SBA Landscape Architects has completed a plan and all the environmental permits are ready to go. The design shows an all-weather wheelchair accessible trail through the Swamp. The first phase will be a boardwalk built over the lagoon for viewing wildlife. You can see the plans, permits and other details at the Yesler Swamp Trail website.

The Miller Library is considering adding e-books to their collection and have put together a survey to gauge their patrons' interest in this format. Please take a few minutes to fill out their survey so they can make an informed decision.  

Fiddlehead FridaysThe Fiddlehead Thursday Fall Series filled up so fast that UWBG Education decided to add Fiddlehead Fridays as well. It gives families twice the chance of getting in on this popular program. The next session will be Where Do the Birds Go? on Friday, November 16 from 9am to 11am. The cost is $16 for each pre-schooler and their caregiver. Due to their popularity, make sure to register early. 

boy with cornIf you've got kids, you might also want to join in the A-maze-ing Corn Story Program at the Miller Library on November 17, 10:30-11:15am. Learn more about how people grow corn, enjoy funny stories, and have fun making a popcorn bird feeder at this story program. It's geared towards 3 to 8 year olds, but children of all ages are welcome.

There is still room on the next Family Ecology Tour on December 1. The theme is evergreen trees that grow in the Arboretum. Why are they always green? How do they feed themselves all year? You will explore who makes their homes in these always-green trees and focus on some of our native species as well as the ones from faraway places. For families with kids age 6 to 12, the cost is $8 per person and you can pre-register online.

Congratulations to the award winners at the 2012 Volunteer Recognition Dinner. Sharlene Walsh was the Arboretum Foundation Volunteer of the Year and Molly Cleland received the Brian Mulligan UWBG Volunteer Award. Thank you Sharlene and Molly!

Check out this Seattle Times article on the Hyde Herbarium. It features former Collections Manager Katie Murphy as well as some quotes from UWBG Director Sarah Reichard.

E-Flora is a regular online newsletter of the University of Washington Botanic Gardens

University of Washington Botanic Gardens' mission:
Sustaining managed to natural ecosystems and the human spirit through plant research, display, and education

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Phone: 206.543.8616
Email: uwbg@u.washington.edu
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