Invasive Garden Loosestrife Spraying to Restart

July 29th, 2010 by UWBG Horticulturist

Lysimachia vulgaris imageFor a second year, Northwest Aquatic Eco-Systems along with UW Botanic Garden will begin spray work to control Lysimachia vulgaris (garden loosestrife), a state-listed noxious weed occurring along Union Bay shorelines including the Union Bay Natural Area and the Arboretum’s Foster and Marsh Islands the first week of August.  King County requires control of this aggressive and invasive weed, which poses a serious threat to the native character of area wetlands. In 2009, DoE provided a 5-year grant for $75,000 to fund loosestrife control.

In mid-July members of King County’s Noxious Weed Control Program and UW Botanic Gardens staff mapped the extent of the weed in the areas listed above.  Comparison of the maps from year 1 to year 2 demonstrated slight control had taken place.  Once again the weed will be controlled with an aquatically approved herbicide by the contractor, Northwest Aquatic Eco-Systems using airboats and other specialized equipment.

King County Garden Loosestrife Fact Sheet

WSDOT conducts cultural resources study on Foster Island

July 28th, 2010 by Tech Librarian, Tracy Mehlin

WSDOT Foster Island Study Area map

The Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) is conducting a cultural resources study on Foster Island as part of the I-5 to Medina: Bridge Replacement and HOV Project. This important safety and mobility project will build a safer floating bridge and give new options to people crossing Lake Washington.

Foster Island Study Fact Sheet

July Color Appears at the Washington Park Arboretum (Part II)

July 22nd, 2010 by Pat Chinn-Sloan

Selected cuttings from the Washington Park Arboretum July 19 - August 2, 2010

  1. Fuchsia magellanica
  2. Hydrangea macrophylla ‘Blue Bird’
  3. Ilex purpurea
  4. Lomatia myricoides

**Editor’s Note: Buddleja ‘Lochinch’ (Butterfly Bush) was removed from this list due to concerns over invasiveness potential.

Complete details.

What’s the story of Herb Robert at the Arboretum?

July 16th, 2010 by UWBG Horticulturist

On July 14 a UWBG Facebook fan asked us what’s the story of Herb Robert at the Arboretum. UWBG Horticulturalist, David Zuckerman, replies with background information and his personal experience with this stinky weed.

Herb Robert, aka, Stinking Robert. Geranium robertianum is an escaped ornamental herbaceous perennial native to Europe. It has quite a history of folklore and medicinal uses. It is a class B noxious weed in Washington(1998?) and first seen in our state in 1911, Klickitat. Due to its ubiquitous nature in King County, control is currently not required. King County Noxious Weed board strongly encourages and recommends control and containment of existing populations and discourages new plantings.

Personally, my encounters and observations of Bob in the arboretum from 1982 to present:

Started innocently enough as a lovely, cute little scented geranium  and quickly spread into our most troublesome forest shade herbaceous monster in the ‘80s and ‘90s. Now, due to a vigorous weed control program, we have actually reduced its seed bank (from whence it spreads by catapulting tiny black seeds that attach themselves on a filament on the undersides of our Rhododendrons and other forest plant collections and natives).  After hand pulling this weed for many a year, it is NOT recommended to leave one’s gloves hanging indoors to dry out, for the following day you will be hit by a most obnoxious odor reminiscent of the worst possible case of sock and shoe malodorous!

Want to join the fight against invasive weeds in the Arboretum? Volunteer as a Gardener Assistant – we could use your help!

Botany, Bugs & the Art of Forensic Science

July 16th, 2010 by Tech Librarian, Tracy Mehlin

Forensic scientists from the American Academy of Forensic Sciences present a fascinating look at the world of forensic science in the areas of botany, entomology, and anthropology as they relate to crime investigations and solving cold cases. These lecture from February 2010 put a  “real” face on the actual forensic sciences behind crime and cold case investigations.

Part 1

[flv:forensics_pt1.flv 500 400]

Part 2

[flv:forensics_pt2.flv 500 400]

Part 3

[flv:forensics_pt3.flv 500 400]

July Color Appears at the Washington Park Arboretum

July 9th, 2010 by Pat Chinn-Sloan

Selected cuttings at the Washington Park Arboretum for July 6-19, 2010

  1. Alangium platanifolium
  2. Fagus sylvatica ‘Asplenifolia’ (Cut-leaf Beech)
  3. Pterostyrax psilophylla (Epaulette Tree)
  4. Quercus x bushii ‘Seattle Trident’
  5. Stewartia monadelpha (Orangebark Stewartia)

Complete details.

CUH Update July 2010

July 8th, 2010 by Soest Gardener, Riz Reyes

We are experiencing quite a heatwave after weeks of cloudy, overcast and rainy days here in Seattle. We’re thankful for the sunshine and all, but the sudden warmth is a little unbearable without the transition to warmer temperatures we should have had in late May.

Everything is picking up with this surge of heat as irrigation is also in full swing. So WEEDS WEEDS WEEDS everywhere and we tackle as much as we can, but it’s so exhausting and uncomfortable working in such intense heat.

There are places to definitely cool off if you come for a visit: underneath the red oak in the Soest garden you’ll find a patch of grass and a wooden bench in which to sit and cool off and the site is a perfect spot for a little picnic. Another shady picnic site with a little more privacy is Goodfellow Grove.

Still too hot out? Swing by the Miller Library; get comfortable with a book or magazine and brush up on all things gardening!

Gonna keep it short and simple this time around and I hope you come visit us soon!


July 2010 Plant Profile: Cornus elliptica

July 8th, 2010 by Soest Gardener, Riz Reyes

Taxonomically confusing and undecisive, but I am so enamored by this small tree from China.

We have this stunning specimen growing here at CUH (within the Fragrance Garden, though it’s not fragrant at all) and, each June-July, I stare in amazement at the glossy evergreen foliage blushed in deep red and bronze with a smattering of star-like bracts that cover almost the entire tree from top to bottom.

Cornus elliptica habit

Cornus elliptica in flower

Cornus elliptica

This tree has been referred to as:

Cornus angustata
Cornus capitata
C. capitata ssp. angustata
C. capitata var. angustata
Cornus kousa v. angustata (this is how we currently have it labeled)
C. kousa v. angustifolia
Cornus elliptica
Dendrobenthamia angustata

Potential graduate work to sort all this out? Oh you betcha!

Now, there’s a plant in commerce called ‘Elsbry’ trademarked EMPRESS OF CHINA. that was selected by John Elsley. While available at a few nurseries here in Seattle, he’s worried that we might not have the heat in the summer to get this plant blooming here in the Puget Sound area, but with our evergreen dogwood at UWBG, perhaps that’s the one that we should be propagating and distributing to gardeners here.

Come see this gorgeous tree in person soon as the bracts could fall in a matter of days with the heat wave we’re experiencing!