December Color Appears at the Washington Park Arboretum

December 5th, 2012 by Pat Chinn-Sloan

Selected cuttings from the Washington Park Arboretum (November 26 - December 9, 2012)


1)   Abies alba  ‘Hybrid’   (Silver Fir)

  • Silver Fir is the species first used as a Christmas tree.
  • A resinous essential oil can be extracted.  The pine-scented oil has soothing qualities and is used in perfumes and bath products.
  • This magnificent specimen can be found on Arboretum Drive.

2)   Cornus sericea  ‘Cardinal’    (Red Osier Dogwood)

  • Bright red twigs provide winter interest in the garden and a beautiful accent to holiday decorations.
  • There are many benefits to Red Osier Dogwood, including overall hardiness and wildlife habitat.
  • Native to the Pacific Northwest, this cultivar can be found in the Pacific Connections Entry Garden.

3)   Ilex opaca  ‘Emily’    (Emily American Holly)

  • Holly is a popular winter, Christmas and holiday season decoration.
  • In English poetry, holly is inseparably connected with merry-making.
  • American Holly is the perfect substitute for English Holly because it is not invasive.
  • Several cultivars of Ilex opaca can be found in the island beds of the Pacific Connections Garden.

4)   Picea brachytyla    (Sargent Spruce)

  • Many species of spruce are used as Christmas trees.
  • Spruce are important economically for timber, resin and Christmas tree production.
  • The Sargent Spruce is native to China and is threatened by habitat loss.

5)   Thuja plicata    (Western Red Cedar)

  • The flattened sprays of dark green foliage droop gracefully and are prefect for holiday wreaths and swags.
  • Strongly aromatic, the scent of crushed Western Red Cedar is reminiscent of pineapple.
  • A strong player in our native matrix, beautiful Thuja plicata can be found throughout the entire Arboretum.

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