Early Spring Has Begun!

March 6th, 2015 by UWBG Horticulturist
Selected cuttings from the Washington Park Arboretum (March 2 - 16, 2015)

Selected cuttings from the Washington Park Arboretum (March 2 – 16, 2015)

1)  Acer triflorum        Three Flower Maple

  • A small, slow-growing deciduous tree 20’ to 45’ where it is native in Manchuria and Korea.  An excellent landscape tree boasting light grey vertically-furrowed bark and vivid red and orange fall color.  The name refers to its flowers, which are borne in clusters of three.
  • Discovered by noted plant explorer, Ernest H. Wilson in 1917.
  • Located in the Asiatic Maples Collection.  Grid: 26-B

2)  Corylopsis sinensis var. calverescens        Winter Hazel

  • A medium-sized deciduous, broadly vase-shaped shrub in the Witch Hazel family.
  • Bean describes it as flowering in April.
  • Located in the Witt Winter Garden.  Grid: 34-1E

3)  Magnolia x loebneri‘Ballerina’        Magnolia

  • This small deciduous tree is a hybrid between M. x loebneri ‘Spring Snow’ and M. stellata ‘Water Lilly’.
  • The specific epithet honors Max Loebner, a German horticulturist, who made the first cross of this hybrid in the early 1900s.
  • Located on the west side of Arboretum Drive in the Magnolias Collection.  Grid: 28-4E

4)  Rhododendron thomsonii ssp. thomsonii        ‘Glory of Penjerrick’

  • A large evergreen shrub with a rounded crown noted for very early bloom time.
  • An early hybrid used as parent for many subsequent Rhododendron hybrids.
  • Located west of Azalea Way, north of the path to the Wilcox foot bridge.

5)  Sorbus caloneura        Whitebeam

  • This small upright deciduous tree is native to southeastern China and Tibet.
  • The leaves are heavily pleated, giving them the appearance of beech leaves.
  • Fruit are extremely hard and persist well into winter.
  • Located at the south end of the Sorbus Collection.  Grid: 20-4E

February Color Appears at the Washington Park Arboretum

February 22nd, 2015 by UWBG Horticulturist
Selected cuttings from the Washington Park Arboretum (February 17 - March 1, 2015)

Selected cuttings from the Washington Park Arboretum (February 17 – March 1, 2015)

1)  Camellia japonica      ‘Nina Avery’

  • Due to this year’s mild winter thus far, many plants here have begun flowering much earlier than normal, and Camellias are certainly no exception. Many specimens can be seen in bloom along Arboretum Drive near Rhododendron Glen.

2)  Camellia x williamsii      ‘Mary Christian’

  • Soon after C. saluenensis began to flower it was crossed with C. japonica, notably by J. C. Williams at Caerhays. One of the first plants raised there was named ‘Mary Christian’.
  • Trumpet-shaped, single, carmine-pink flowers are currently on display.

3)  Larix kaempferi      Japanese Larch

  • The needle-shaped leaves of L. kaempferi are just beginning to emerge.
  • Native to Japan and able to reach 80-100 feet in height, this species was introduced by John Gould Veitch in 1861.
  • A member of the family Pinaceae, this specimen is located in the Pinetum near the Stone Bridge.

4)  Magnolia      ‘Royal Crown’

  • This is a popular clone with dark red-to-violet flowers, white on the inside. It was first hybridized by D. Todd Gresham of Santa Cruz, California, who sometimes referred to plants of his cross as the “svelte brunettes” because of the dark color and sleek form of the flowers.
  • Located along Arboretum Drive within the Magnolias.

5)  Symphoricarpos orbiculatus      Coralberry

  • A dense, bushy shrub with ornamental fruit currently on display.
  • Native to the United States.
  • Specimen located within the Viburnums.

February Color Appears at the Washington Park Arboretum

February 4th, 2015 by UWBG Horticulturist
Selected cuttings from the Washington Park Arboretum (February 2 - 15, 2015)

Selected cuttings from the Washington Park Arboretum (February 2 – 15, 2015)

Donald Culross Peattie in the Washington Park Arboretum

Staff horticulturist, Ryan Garrison recently listened to an audio version of Donald Culross Peattie’s book, “A Natural History of North American Trees.” He very much enjoyed its mix of science and literary art, and would like to share a few gems about trees in the collection with you.

1)  Carya ovata – Shellbark or Scalybark Hickory
“To everyone with a feeling for things American, and for American history, the Shagbark seems like a symbol of the pioneer age, with its hard sinewy limbs and rude, shaggy coat, like the pioneer himself in fringed deerskin hunting shirt. And the roaring heat of its fires, the tang of its nuts – that wild manna that every autumn it once cast lavishly before the feet – stand for the days of forest abundance.” 1

2)  Pseudotsuga menziesii – Douglastree; Douglas, yellow, or Red Spruce; Oregon Pine
“In the literature of forestry it has wavered between Douglas Fir and Douglas Spruce, though it is no Spruce and no true Fir, as botanist see matters. Some years ago the Forest Service officially settled on “Douglas Fir” and if this impaction seems to you to clear up matters, you may use it with the blessings of the Government Printing Office. The least misleading of proposed names is Douglastree, since it leans on no analogies and still does honor to that noble pioneer among explorer-botanists of the Northwest, David Douglas.” 1

3)  Sequoia sempervirens – California Redwood, Coastal Sequoia, Sempervirens, Palo Colorado
“Your footfalls make no sound on the needles and moss that have lain there for centuries. Your body casts no shadow in that green, lake like diffused light. The goose honking of a car, the calling of a child, fade into the immensity of silence. Time, the common tick-tock of it, ceases here, and you become aware of time in another measure – out of an awesome past. For this forest has stood here since the Ice Age, and here, together with this transfixed past, is the future too, for these immense lives will outlast yours by a thousand years or so.” 1

4)  Sequoiadendron giganteum – California Bigtree; Sierra Redwood; Mammoth-tree
“The summers are exceedingly dry; if rain does fall it is apt to come with violent thunderstorms and lightning bolts that have been seen to rive a gigantic Sequoia from the crown to its roots. Those who know the species best maintain that it never dies of disease or senility. If it survives the predators of its infancy and the hazard of fire in youth, then only a bolt from heaven can end its centuries of life. Perhaps, if this majestic tree had a will, it would prefer to go this way, by an act of God.” 1


1 Peattie, Donald Culross, and Paul Landacre. A Natural History of North American Trees. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2007. Print.

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

January 25th, 2015 by UWBG Horticulturist

Witt Winter Garden

Selected cuttings from the Washington Park Arboretum (January 19-31, 2015)

Selected cuttings from the Washington Park Arboretum (January 19-31, 2015)

1)  Cornus sanguinea ‘Midwinter Fire’         Bloodtwig Dogwood

  • Young stems of this cultivar are orange-yellow with the sunny side turning carmine red.
  • Stem color of species is gray to purple, while the color of C.s. ‘Midwinter Fire’ is yellow-green in summer changing to winter colors rapidly at leaf drop in fall.

2)  Hamamelis x intermedia ‘Pallida’             Witch Hazel

  • This hybrid of H. japonica and H. mollis was selected for its pale sulfur-yellow flowers which tend to glow in the low light levels of morning and evening.
  • Cultivars of witch hazel can have flower colors from pale yellow to deep red, some being quite fragrant while others are much less so.

3)  Lonicera standishii                   Honeysuckle

  • This semi-evergreen shrub bears fragrant flowers from early winter to early spring.
  • Lonicera standishii is native to China.

4)  Ruscus aculeatus                    Butcher’s Broom

  • Lacking true leaves, what you are seeing are called “cladophylls” which are simply flattened stems.
  • The flowers of this plant are dioecious, only 2 mm across and are located in the center of the cladophylls.
  • Butcher’s Broom is native to Europe, Turkey, North Africa and the Azores.

5)  Viburnum tinus ‘Pink Prelude’                Laurustinus

  • This species has been cultivated in England since the 16th century.
  • V.t. ‘Pink Prelude’ has white flowers that age to pink.
  • The flowers of laurustinus are followed by small, but showy metallic-blue fruit.

December Color Appears at the Washington Park Arboretum

November 29th, 2014 by UWBG Horticulturist
Selected cuttings from the Washington Park Arboretum (November 24, 2014 - December 7, 2014)

Selected cuttings from the Washington Park Arboretum (November 24 – December 7, 2014)

1)    Araucaria araucana      (Monkey Puzzle)

  • Native to Chile, no other conifer quite like it!
  • Seeds are used to make an alcoholic ceremonial drink called mudai.

2)   Picea glauca      (White Spruce)

  • Native to northern temperate forests of North America.
  • Captain Cook made a spruce beer, possibly curing his crew from scurvy.

3)   Pinus cembra      (Swiss Stone Pine)

  • Native to Alps of Central Europe.
  • Try a Royal Tannenbaum cocktail made with Zirbenz Stone Pine liqueur!

4)   Pseudotsuga menziesii      (Douglas Fir)

  • Native to our “neck of the woods”.
  • McCarthy’s Clear Creek Distillery (in Portland OR) makes a green spirit from Douglas Fir buds called Douglas Fir eau-de-vie.

5)   Taiwania cryptomerioides      (Coffin Tree)

  • Native to eastern Asia.
  • Imbibe too much and you may wind up in a box made from this tree. :(

 


* All references to alcoholic drinks are from the book, The Drunken Botanist
by Amy Stewart, ©2013,  Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill.

NOTE:  Use our interactive on-line map for location and other information on the above
http://depts.washington.edu/uwbg/gardens/map.shtml
[Enter Latin name in search box in the upper right corner.]

November Color Appears at the Washington Park Arboretum

November 10th, 2014 by UWBG Horticulturist
Selected cuttings from the Washington Park Arboretum (November 3 - 16, 2014)

Selected cuttings from the Washington Park Arboretum (November 3 – 16, 2014)

 

1)    Callicarpa bodinieri var. giraldii  ‘Profusion’  (Beautyberry)

  • Native to western China.
  • Ornamental purple berries on display in autumn months.
  • Specimen located north of the Wilcox Bridge by the parking lot.

 

2)    Gaultheria mucronata    ‘Rubra’

  • Native to southern Chile.
  • Formerly known as Pernettya, this particular variety has carmine pink berries.
  • Specimen is located in the Chilean Gateway Garden.

3)   Grevillea victoriae    ‘Marshall Olbricht’

  • Native to Australia. This cultivar is from a seedling, possibly a hybrid, named for the co-founder of Western Hills Nursery in California.
  • Exotic orange flowers persist throughout winter – loved by hummingbirds.
  • Specimen located in the Australian entry garden at Pacific Connections.

4)   Quercus cerris   (Turkey Oak)

  • Native to southern Europe.
  • Notable for hairy caps on the acorns. Trunk can reach six feet in diameter.
  • Specimen located in the Viburnum Collection near Lake Washington Boulevard.

5)   Wollemia nobilis   (Wollemi Pine)

  • Not a pine, but a member of Araucaceae, the family of the Monkey Puzzle Tree.
  • Wollemia was known only from fossil records until it was discovered in Australia’s Wollemi National Park in 1994 by David Noble, hence its name.
  • Our specimen is growing at the bus turnaround on Arboretum Drive.

October Color Appears at the Washington Park Arboretum

October 10th, 2014 by UWBG Horticulturist
Selected cuttings from the Washington Park Arboretum (10/6/14-10/19/14)

Selected cuttings from the Washington Park Arboretum (10/6/14-10/19/14)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1)   Franklinia alatamaha

Close-up photo of Franklinia flower

Close-up photo of Franklinia flower

  • Native to the Alatamaha River, Georgia, and discovered in the late 18th.
  • Genus contains just one species, and has long been extinct in the wild. Today’s plants all descend, it is believed, from those cultivated in Philadelphia under the name chosen by William Bartram in honor of Benjamin Franklin.
  • Specimen located along Arboretum Drive near the Camellias.

2)   Ilex crenata      ‘Mariesii’

Close-up photo of Rehderodendron seed pods

Close-up photo of Rehderodendron seed pods

  • A very slow-growing female holly with tiny leaves and black fruit. Collected in Japan around 1890 by Charles Maries and sent to Veitch Nursery.
  • Located within the Asian/North American clade in the Holly wedge.

3)   Rehderodendron macrocarpum

  • An upright deciduous tree with red young shoots and glossy dark green leaves.
  • Native to western China, seeds from macrocarpum were first collected in 1932 from a fruiting specimen on Mount Omei in the Szechwan Province.
  • This specimen is located in grid 36-B, northwest of the Winter Garden.

4)   Sorbus helenae

  • Very distinctive species only recently introduced to cultivation. White fruits and autumn leaf color make helenae an attractive tree this time of year.
  • Located about midway through the Mountain Ashes, west of the path.

5)   Viburnum odoratissimum

  • A vigorous, bushy evergreen shrub with glossy, dark green leaves and red fruit ripening to black.
  • Native to India, China, Burma, Philippines, and Japan.
  • Located in grid 12-8E along Arboretum Drive.

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

September 28th, 2014 by UWBG Horticulturist
Selected cuttings from the Washington Park Arboretum (September 22 - October 6, 2014)

Selected cuttings from the Washington Park Arboretum (September 22 – October 6, 2014)

1)    Alnus glutinosa ssp. betuloides
Birch-leaved Alder

  • Native to the mountains of eastern Turkey.
  • Listed as a threatened species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.
  • Autumn brings pendulous male catkins and the mature female cones.

 

2)   Catalpa x erubescens        Indian Bean Tree

  • Uncommon tree with fetching, large, chocolate-purple young leaves that turn green.
  • Late summer brings masses of creamy white flowers flecked with yellow.
  • Hanging seed pods appear and remain long after the leaves have dropped.

3)   Pterocarya rhoifolia        Japanese Wingnut

  • The Wingnuts belong to the Walnut (Juglandaceae) family.
  • The amount of edible nut is comparable to that of the Scots Pine, i.e. not much.
  • The hanging decorative catkins give the tree a distinctive appearance in late summer.

4)   Styrax obassia        Fragrant Snowbell

  • This tree produces 6-8 inch fragrant white bell shaped flowers May to June.
  • Native to Hokkaido Island of Japan.
  • The tiny green seed pods hang like ornaments well into late summer/fall.

5)   X Sycoparrotia semidecidua        Chinese Fig Hazel

  • An inter-generic cross between two species – Parrotia persica and Sycopsis sinensis.
  • The flowers are unique, inconspicuous and easy to overlook.
  • The seed pods are beautiful ocher-colored, three dimensional stars.

September Color Appears at the Washington Park Arboretum

September 14th, 2014 by UWBG Horticulturist


The State of the Arboretum

Selected cuttings from the Washington Park Arboretum (September 8 - 21, 2014)

Selected cuttings from the Washington Park Arboretum (September 8 – 21, 2014)

1)   Liriodendron tulipifera        Tulip Tree

  • The state tree of Indiana.
  • The Western Hemisphere representative of the two-species genus Liriodendron, and the tallest eastern hardwood.

2)   Pinus resinosa                 Red Pine

  • The state tree of Minnesota.
  • It is a long-lived tree, reaching a maximum age of about 500 years.
  • The wood is commercially valuable in forestry for timber and paper pulp, and the tree is also used for landscaping.

3)   Pinus strobus        Eastern White Pine

  • The state tree of Michigan.
  • Eastern white pine forests originally covered much of northeastern North America. Only one percent of the old-growth forests remain after the extensive logging operations that existed from the 18th century into the early 20th century.
  • This tree is known to the Native American Haudenosaunee (Iroquois Nation) as the “Tree of Peace”.

4)   Sequoia sempervirens        Coast Redwood

  • The state tree of California.
  • These trees are among the oldest living things on Earth.
  • Before commercial logging and clearing began by the 1850s, this massive tree occurred along much of coastal California and the southwestern corner of coastal Oregon.

5)   Tsuga hetrophylla        Western Hemlock

  • The state tree of Washington.
  • Tsuga heterophylla is an integral component of Pacific Northwest forests west of the Coast Ranges, where it is a climax species. It is also an important timber tree throughout the region, along with many of its large coniferous associates.

Winter Garden Project: Remodeling the “Living Walls”

August 20th, 2014 by UWBG Horticulturist

Arboretum Tree Removal Notification:

 

The week of 8/25/14, UWBG tree crew will embark on a project located in the Winter Garden (read about project below). 

4 western red cedars will be removed due to negative impact to plant collections and garden encroachment. 

All pedestrian path detours and other safety considerations will be handled by tree crew. 

If possible, cedar logs will be salvaged for future park uses.  

UW professor of landscape architecture and designer of our Winter Garden (1987), Iain Robertson, states it’s time to open up the “room” that has been closing in on the Winter Garden for over 25 years. Continuous growth of the “living walls”, predominantly western red cedars, is now negatively impacting many of the garden’s choice plant collections. Due to this encroachment, the garden “room” is feeling confining. Judicious consideration and deliberation has led to the following curation and horticultural decisions.

Project Scope:

  • Removal of 4 western red cedars to provide needed light and future growing space for plant collections. In all cases, the “room’s walls” will expand, yet filled in by existing trees in the background to continue to provide the experience of being in an enclosed space.Pruning of several other cedars to provide light and future growing space for plant collections.
    • 2 on the west side in the “twig bed”
    • 1 on the south side next to the Chinese red birch grove
    • 1 on the east side growing over several camellias and other collections