September 23rd, 2013 by Pat Chinn-Sloan
Keystone Species of New Zealand
Keystone Species of New Zealand (September 9 – 22, 2013)
1) Nothofagus menziesii (Silver Beech, Tāwhai)
- Natural range: endemic to New Zealand. Found throughout South Island.
- Trunk is silvery-gray and has horizontal lines (lenticels).
- Dark-green, oval leaves are glossy and have toothed edges.
- Largest specimen was transplanted in Autumn 2012 with help from a very large crane.
2) Nothofagus solandri var. cliffortioides (Mountain Beech, Tawhairauriki)
- Deep green, oval leaves have a pointed tip and rolled edges.
- Grows in lowland mountain regions to about 65 feet. At high altitudes, it forms a “goblin forest” where the trees are no more than 6 feet tall.
- Two large specimens transplanted with crane in Autumn 2012.
3) Griselinia littoralis (New Zealand Broadleaf, Kapuka)
- Found throughout most of New Zealand from sea level to 3000 feet.
- Deep green, oval leaves are thick and very shiny, and this fast-growing plant is often used for hedging and shelter planting.
- Species name ‘littoralis’ means “growing by the sea”, indicating tolerance of salt spray.
4) Chionochloa rigida (Narrow-leaved Snow Tussock), C. rubra (Red Tussock)
- Genus of Chionochloa, comprises of about 20 species – all but one are native to New Zealand.
- Despite its name, C. rigida has a flowing habit reaching 3 feet with flowering stems reaching 5 feet. Leaves dry out giving the plant an overall golden color.
- C. rubra has reddish colorings with fine weeping leaves reaching 3 to 4 feet and flowering stems that rise just above the foliage.
5) Phormium colensoi (syn. P. cookianum) and P. tenax (New Zealand Flax, Wharariki)
- Both species native to New Zealand, P. colensoi is endemic; both are widespread.
- P. colensoi seed pods tilt downwards and twist in a spiral as they dry. P. tenax seeds are held upright and do not twist when drying.
- P. tenax is a larger plant with leaves reaching 9 feet and flowering stalk up to 15 feet compared to P. colensoi whose leaves reach 5 feet and flowering stalk is slightly taller at 6 feet.
September 2nd, 2013 by Pat Chinn-Sloan
Selected cuttings from the Washington Park Arboretum (August 26 – September 8, 2013)
1) Betulaceae Carpinus japonica, Corylus colurna, Ostrya carpinifolia
- Nut-bearing, often enclosed in interesting husks, cones or bracts.
2) Fabaceae Colutea orientalis
- Legumes, which are dry fruit in pods that dehisce (open along a seam).
3) Gunneraceae Gunnera manicata
- The fruit-bearing conical spike can reach 6 feet in length.
4) Magnoliaceae Magnolia grandiflora, M. officinalis var. biloba, M. sieboldii
- Cone-like fruits, from green to red, open to display bright orange seeds.
5) Myricaceae Morella californica
- The fruit is a drupe with a waxy coating that can be used to make candles.
6) Myrtaceae Callistemon sieberi
- Bottlebrush seed capsules remain unopened until stimulated by fire.
7) Paeoniaceae Paeonia rockii, P. suffruticosa
- Peony fruit pods will open when ripe to display black or bright red seeds.
8) Proteaceae Grevillea victoriae
- The profusion of colorful fruit on this shrub outshines many flowering plants nearby.
9) Rosaceae Rosa corymbulosa, R. davidii, R. roxburghii, Sorbus splendida
- Rosaceous fruit can be drupes, achenes, nuts, follicles, capsules and accessory fruits.
10) Sapindaceae Koelreuteria paniculata
- Sapindaceous fruit can be berries, nuts, drupes, schizocarps, capsules or samaras.
August 25th, 2013 by Pat Chinn-Sloan
Selected cuttings from the Washington Park Arboretum (August 19 – 25, 2013)
1) Aralia elata (Japanese Angelica Tree)
- Natural range: Japan, Korea, Russian Far East
- Can be a tree more than 30 feet tall. Ours are multiple suckers from a spreading root system.
- Located north of the Wilcox footbridge (40-3W).
2) Bupleurum fruticosum
- A dense, multi-stemmed shrub tolerant of exposure and poor soil.
- Native to Southern Europe and the Mediterranean.
- Located in our Rock Rose area west of the Sorbus Collection (21-3E).
3) Kalopanax septemlobus
- A member of the Aralia family (Araliaceae), it grows to 100 feet. Its lobed leaves might be mistaken for maple until the umbels of flowers appear in July and August.
- Native to Japan, Korea, and the Russian Far East.
- Our best is located west of Azalea Way in 15-1W.
4) Poliothyrsis sinensis
- Native to the Chinese province of Hupeh
- Bears clusters of fragrant white flowers
- Located south of the Woodland Garden near other so-called primitive trees: Trochodendron, Tetracentron, and Euptelia.
5) Rosa sp. with Spiny Rose Gall
- These galls are caused by a tiny wasp, probably Dipolepis bicolor, which lays its eggs in the rose’s leaves. The larvae live in the galls until the following spring.
- This plant is located in 25-1E at the intersection of the Upper and Lower Trails.
August 2nd, 2013 by Pat Chinn-Sloan
Selected cuttings from the Washington Park Arboretum (7/29/13 – 8/12/13)
“Can You Smell That Smell?”
1) Clerodendrum trichotomum
- Repugnant, peanut-butter odor when leaves are bruised!
- Cats are attracted to the smell.
- See our suckering forest of young trees along the path leading down to the WPA horticultural crew barn.
2) Prostanthera cuneata (Alpine Mint-Bush)
- This low-growing shrub is from Australia and is in the Mint family.
- When leaves are crushed, they emit a strong fragrance that some liken to eucalyptol and smelly socks.
- Located in the Australian exhibit of the Pacific Connections Garden.
3) Ribes malvaceum var. viridifolium ‘Ortega Beauty’ (Chapparal Current)
- Native to the coastal mountains of southern California.
- Malodorous skunky scent when leaves are rubbed like many plants in a chapparal community.
- Located in the Cascadian entry exhibit of the Pacific Connections Garden.
4) Umbellularia californica (Headache Tree)
- Large broadleaf evergreen tree.
- Most odoriferous tree in our plant collections by far.
- Take a deep whiff of the crushed leaves and you’ll know right away why it’s called the headache tree!
5) Vitex agnus-castus (Monk’s Pepper)
- Peppery-smelling leaves some folks compare to Cannabis.
- An ornamental summer-flowering shrub with many medicinal qualities.
- Located along Azalea Way at the SE entrance to the Woodland Garden.
July 18th, 2013 by Pat Chinn-Sloan
Selected cuttings from the Washington Park Arboretum (July 15-31, 2013)
1) Quercus x bushii ‘Seattle Trident’
(Seattle Trident Hybrid Red Oak)
- Cultivar of a Black Oak and Blackjack Oak hybrid.
- Developed in Sir Hillier Gardens and Arboretum in England from scion wood collected at Washington Park Arboretum.
- Located in the Oak Collection, northwest of Azalea Way service road intersection.
2) Quercus dentata (Daimyo Oak)
- Asian native (China, Korea, Japan, Mongolia)
- Develops an unusually large leaf; occasionally used as a vegetable in native range.
- Located in the Oak Collection on hillside near Foster Island Road.
3) Quercus macrocarpa (Bur Oak)
- Native to Eastern and Midwestern U.S.
- Develops a distinct broad canopy as tree matures.
- Located in the Oak Collection along ridge west of Azalea Way.
4) Quercus muhlenbergii (Chinquapin Oak)
- Broad, native range spanning from New England to northeast Mexico.
- Large, slow growing tree with chestnut-like foliage.
- Located in the Oak Collection along ridge west of Azalea Way, north of the Bur Oak.
5) Quercus pontica (Armenian Oak)
- Native to the Caucasus Mountain region of Eastern Europe.
- Shrubby oak: leaves on new wood remain evergreen, yet older wood becomes deciduous.
- Located in the Oak Collection near entrance to the Graham Visitor’s Center.
July 6th, 2013 by Pat Chinn-Sloan
Chile in Seattle
Selected cuttings from the Chilean Gateway Garden in the Washington Park Arboretum (July 1-15, 2013)
1) Alstroemeria sp.
- Commonly called Peruvian Lily or Lily of the Incas.
- The genus was named after Swedish baron, Claus von Alstroemer (1736-1794) by his close friend, Carolus Linnaeus.
- Beautiful drifts grace the Chilean Gateway.
2) Gunnera tinctoria
- Sometimes referred to as Chilean rhubarb or dinosaur food.
- The leaves can grow up to 2.5 meters across.
- Several large clumps dot the Chilean Gateway hillside.
3) Lobelia tupa
- Its latex is used as an hallucinogen, which may explain its common name, Tobaco del Diablo.
- The flowers are red, tubular and two-lipped and are produced in a sympodium pattern.
- This wonderful perennial is in full bloom in the abundant Chilean Gateway Garden.
4) Calceolaria integrifolia
- Its puffy flowers give it its common names Slipperwort, Pocketbook Plant, Pouch Flower or Lady’s Slipper.
- Can be transient in the garden because it is somewhat tender.
- One big poofy plant is blooming profusely in the Chilean Gateway.
5) Luma apiculata
- Also known as Chilean myrtle. The Mapuche Native Americans call it “Kelumamull” or Orange Wood.
- It is a slow-growing, evergreen tree with abundant white flowers and beautiful orange-grey bark.
- We are fortunate to have several nice specimens in the Chilean Gateway planting.
June 21st, 2013 by Pat Chinn-Sloan
Selected cuttings from the Washington Park Arboretum (June 17 – 30, 2013)
1) Callistemon sieberi (Alpine Bottlebrush)
- This small, spreading shrub is currently showing off its creamy-yellow flowers in bottlebrush-like spikes.
- Native to Australia, C. sieberi can be found along the footpath of the Australian Entry Garden within the Pacific Connections Garden.
2) Cytisus battandieri (Pineapple Broom)
- Sometimes referred to as Argyrocytisus, this genus of Brooms fall within the family, Fabaceae.
- Native to Morocco, C. battandieri is an upright tree-like shrub with pineapple-scented flowers.
- Located on the east side of Arboretum Drive in the Legumes.
3) Liriodendron tulipfera (Tulip Tree)
- A member of the family Magnoliaceae, Liriodendron is a genus of two deciduous trees, L. chinense and L. tulipfera.
- The solitary, cup-shaped flowers, inconspicuous from a distance, add interest in summer, but are not produced on young plants.
- Located in the Magnolias, these cuttings came from a tree over 100 feet tall.
4) Staphylea pinnata (European Bladdernut)
- The flowers of this upright shrub have come and gone, but it is the curious bladder-like fruit now on display.
- Located near Azalea Way amongst the True Ashes.
5) Tsuga sieboldii (South Japan Hemlock)
- Glossy, dark green foliage and smooth, dark gray bark give this tree some distinction within its genus.
- This Tsuga can be found between the Woodland Garden and the top of Loderi Valley.
June 10th, 2013 by Pat Chinn-Sloan
Selected cuttings from the Washington Park Arboretum (June 3 – 16, 2013)
1) Illicium henryi (Henry’s Star Anise)
- This Chinese Illicium is a standout of the genus, as most anise have white or cream-colored flowers.
- I. henryi can be found along the foot path of the Sino-Himalayan Hillside as well as along the Ridgetop Trail, just west of the Magnolia Collection.
2) Kalmia latifolia (Mountain Laurel)
- This under-used Rhododendron relative is native to the eastern United States.
- The color of the closed flower buds is often completely different from the open flower color, which ranges from white to deep red, often with a distinctive band inside.
- There are several cultivars of K. latifolia in the Woodland Garden.
3) Leptospermum scoparium (Manuka, New Zealand Tea Tree)
- The bloom of manuka is profuse and long lasting.
- Captain Cook supposedly brewed tea for his crew using manuka, which is rich in vitamin C.
- Specimens can be found in the Australian portion of the Pacific Connections Garden.
4) Quercus robur ‘Concordia’ (Golden English Oak)
- The golden color of the young growth fades to green as the leaf ages.
- Our specimen can be seen on Azalea Way just south of the Graham Visitors Center.
5) Rhododendron ‘Teddy Bear’
- This cultivar of Rhododendron is a cross between R. bureavii and R. degronianum ssp. yakushimanum.
- The thin white indumentum on the upper side of the leaf goes away in time, while the thick indumentum of the underside remains and turns brown.
- This Rhododendron can be found in the Puget Sound Rhododendron Hybridizers Garden along Azalea Way.
May 23rd, 2013 by Pat Chinn-Sloan
1) Aesculus x carnea ‘Fort McNair’
Selected cuttings from the Washington Park Arboretum (May 13 – 26, 2013)
- A hybrid between A. pavia and A. hippocastanum, it probably originated as a chance hybrid made by insects in 19th-century Germany.
- Selected at the fort of the same name in Washington, D.C., flowers are pink with a yellow throat.
- It can be found on Azalea Way, across from the Woodland Garden.
Close-up view of the unusual orange flowers of the Buddleja globosa
2) Buddleja globosa
- A species of flowering plant endemic to Chile and Argentina, where it grows in dry and moist forest.
- It can be found at both ends of the Arboretum at the Holmdahl Rockery and in the Graham Visitor Center parking lot.
3) Embothrium coccineum (Chilean Fire tree)
- A small evergreen tree from the temperate forests of Chile and Argentina.
- The plant was introduced to Europe by William Lobb during his plant collecting expedition to the Valdivian temperate rain forests in 1845–1848. It was described by Kew Gardens thusly: “Perhaps no tree cultivated in the open air in the British Isles gives so striking and brilliant a display as this does.”
- There are several small specimens in the Chilean Gateway, and one large one just north of the bus turnaround on Arboretum Drive.
4) Rhododendron x ‘Favor Major’
- Hybridized by L. De Rothschild, the founder of Exbury Gardens in the United Kingdom.
- A beautiful orange Azalea, located on Arboretum Drive at the Rhododendron Glen parking lots.
5) Syringa josikaea (Hungarian Lilac)
- A species of lilac native to central and eastern Europe, in the Carpathian Mountains in Hungary, Romania, and western Ukraine.
- Located in the Syringa Collection on Azalea Way, just south of the Woodland Garden.
May 5th, 2013 by Pat Chinn-Sloan
1) Acer circinatum (Vine maple)
- Taken for granted around here, this time of year our vine maple is most eye-catching in flower.
- Located throughout our native matrix as a deciduous forest understory tree.
- Vine maple is native to the North American west coast from British Columbia to California.
2) Acer cissifolium (Vine-leaf maple)
- Despite their similar common names, vine maple and vine-leaf maple could hardly be more different. The Acer cissifolium leaf is compound, composed of three leaflets; Acer circinatum has almost round leaves. The flowers of Acer cissifolium have four petals (unusual for a maple) and are arranged in racemes while those of Acer circinatum are five-petaled and in panicles.
- Acer cissifolium is native to Japan. In the Arboretum, it is located in Rhododendron Glen (12-3E) and in the Asiatic Maples (27-B).
3) Broussonetia kazinoki
- The inner bark is prized in Japan for making high-quality paper.
- A related species Broussonetia paperifera (paper mulberry) is used for paper from Myanmar to Japan and in Polynesia for the paper-like “tapa cloth”.
- The fruit begin to develop before the flowers produce pollen.
- Our Broussonetia is north of the Winter Garden in 35-3E and 36-2E.
4) Rhododendron augustinii
- Provides the mauve backdrop for the beds along Azalea Way and in Rhododendron Glen.
- One of many plants discovered by and named for Augustine Henry in western China.
5) Viburnum macrocephalum
- A China native introduced by Robert Fortune in 1844.
- Located in the Pacific Connections China Entry Garden.