October Color Appears at the Washington Park Arboretum

October 16th, 2012 by Pat Chinn-Sloan

Selected cuttings from the Washington Park Arboretum (10/8/12 - 10/21/12)

1)   Cotoneaster conspicuus

  • This showy member of the rose family is native to Tibet.
  • Like most other specimens of the genus Cotoneaster, C. conspicuus has an equally stunning, early summer display of white flowers.
  • C. conspicuus can be viewed along the north border of the Graham Visitor Center parking lot.

2)   Ilex verticillata ‘Winter Red’      Black Alder, Winterberry

  • Native to eastern North America, winterberry is an important winter food source for wildlife including raccoon, red squirrel, wood duck and ruffed grouse.
  • The cultivar ‘Winter Red’ produces intensely red berries that can last until spring.
  • I.v. ‘Winter Red’ can be seen just to the north of the Overlook Pond on Azalea Way.

3)   Pyracantha rogersiana ‘Flava’     Firethorn

  • Many firethorns are grown for their showy berries in fall, which can range from lemon-yellow to scarlet.
  • Pyracantha has traditionally been used as a decorative ornamental, as a pollen source for bees and for home security due to their vicious thorns.
  • Several firethorn species and cultivars can be seen along Arboretum Drive just south of the Graham Visitor Center.

4)   Sorbus cashmiriana       Kashmir Rowan

  • Native to the western Himalayas, this rowan bears corymbs of white flowers in late spring followed by pink-tinged white pommes.
  • Our Sorbus Collection is located on the east side of Arboretum Drive between Crabapple Meadow and our giant sequoia grove.

5)   Viburnum sp.

  • This Viburnum, which was collected in China, has yet to be identified to a species.
  • The tiny, brilliant red berries are unusual to the genus.
  • This Viburnum is located along Azalea Way near our Fraxinus (True Ash) Collection.

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

September 28th, 2012 by Pat Chinn-Sloan

Selected cuttings from the Washington Park Arboretum (September 24-October 8, 2012)

1)   Acer diabolicum  (Horned Maple)

  • This maple is one of the least ornamental of the native maples of Japan.
  • It is named for the tiny horn-like appendages between the winged seeds.
  • Ours is growing beside the Japanese Garden parking lot.

2)   Koelreuteria bipinnata

  • Named after a German professor of botany, J.G. Koelreuter (1733-1806), it is impossible for English speakers to pronounce.
  • K. bipinnata is blooming now, but the more common K. paniculata is bearing its conspicuous inflated seed pods.
  • Both species are located opposite Arboretum Drive on Foster Island Road.

3)  Pterocarya stenoptera  (Chinese wingnut)

  • The Latin name literally means “narrow-winged wingnut”.
  • A relative of walnuts and hickories, it is growing near them in 29-2W along Azalea Way.

4)  Pterostyrax hispida  (Epaulette Tree)

  • Long panicles of spring flowers become chains of bristly (hence “hispida”) seeds.
  • Native to China and Japan.
  • The best examples in the Arboretum are along the east fence (9 and 10-7E).

5)  Vitex agnus-castus  (Chaste Tree)

  • A shrub native to Mediterranean regions and southwest and central Asia.
  • The Vitex genus includes large tropical and sub-tropical timber trees.
  • In the Arboretum, it is located just south of the Woodland Garden pond on Azalea Way.  A
    white form is 100 feet north.

September Color Appears at the Washington Park Arboretum

September 16th, 2012 by Pat Chinn-Sloan

“Ornamental Late Summer Fruits”

Selected cuttings from the Washington Park Arboretum (September 10-14, 2012)

1)  Betula lenta  (Sweet Birch)

  • The fruit, maturing in fall, is composed of numerous tiny winged seeds packed between the catkin bracts.
  • Twigs, when scraped, have a strong scent of oil of wintergreen.
  • Several specimens are located east of Azalea Way bordering the wetland bog.

2)  Liriodendron tulipifera  (Tulip Tree)

  • The fruit is a cone, two to three inches long, made of a great number of thin narrow scales attached to a common axis. These scales are each a carpel surrounded by a thin membranous ring.
  • Another eastern North American tree which is also considered the tallest deciduous angiosperm in the world.
  • A mature grove is located in our Magnolia Collection.

3)  Magnolia sieboldii  (Oyama Magnolia)

  • The ornamental three-inch-long carmine fruit dangles off the tree, and eventually busts open to reveal orange “alien” seeds from “outer space”.  The fruit are oval in shape and have little spine-like points that create an interesting texture.
  • Shrub native to eastern Asia in China, Japan, and Korea.
  • Located just outside the west entrance to the Graham Visitor Center.

4)  Ostrya carpinifolia  (Hop Hornbeam)

  • The fruit form in pendulous clusters, 3-8 cm. long with 6–20 seeds; each seed is a small nut 2–4 mm. long, fully enclosed in a bladder-like involucre.
  • Small tree native to Europe.
  • Specimen is located in Hornbeam section, just past the Broadmoor service entrance on Foster Island Road.

5)  Styrax japonicus  (Japanese Silverbell)

  • The fruit is an oblong dry drupe, smooth and lacking ribs or narrow wings, unlike the fruit of the related snowdrop trees (Halesia) and epaulette trees.
  • Mature specimens may be found half-way down Azalea Way on the west side.

August Color Appears at the Washington Park Arboretum

August 26th, 2012 by Pat Chinn-Sloan

Selected cuttings from the Washington Park Arboretum for 8/20/12 - 9/3/12

1)   Blechnum chilense

  • This impressive evergreen fern grows in full sun to full shade.
  • The Chilean Spanish name ‘Costilla de vaca’ translates into “cow’s rib” and refers to the shape of the fronds.
  • This fern can be found thriving in the Chilean Entry Garden in Pacific Connections.

2)   Eucalyptus pauciflora ssp. niphophila

  • Beautiful peeling brown bark is just one of the attributes of this Australian native.
  • This snow gum can be found in the highest part of the Australian Alps straddling the Victoria-New South Wales border.
  • A youthful specimen is located in the Australian Entry Garden in Pacific Connections.

3)   Ginkgo biloba

  • Ginkgo has been used medicinally for thousands of years.
  • The Ginkgo is a living fossil; a unique species recognizably similar to fossils dating back 270 million years.
  • A young ginkgo tree adorns the China Entry Garden in Pacific Connections.

4)   Pittosporum tenuifolium  ‘Majorie Channon’

  • Also known as Majorie Channon Kohuhu or variegated Kohuhu.
  • Slow-growing, compact shrub. In early summer it bears bell-shaped, honey-scented, black-red flowers.
  • The New Zealand Entry Garden sports three very nice specimens.

5)   Rhamnus californica  ‘Leather Leaf

  • Commonly called “Leather Leaf Coffeeberry”, the Rhamnus are in the Buckthorn family.
  • Its dark foliage makes it a great foil for lighter green or grey-colored plants.
  • A lovely drift of Rhamnus californica ‘Leather Leaf’ can be found in the Cascadian Entry Garden in Pacific Connections.

July Color Appears at the Washington Park Arboretum

July 26th, 2012 by Pat Chinn-Sloan

Selected cuttings from the Washington Park Arboretum from 7/23/12 - 8/5/12

1)   Berberis darwinii

  • Vigorous, upright evergreen shrub with spine-toothed, glossy leaves and spherical blue-glaucous fruit.
  • This specimen is located along the Pacific Connections Meadow Loop Trail within the Chilean Entry Garden.
  • First discovered by Charles Darwin in 1835.

2)   Hydrangea serrata ‘Bluebird’

  • Compact, erect deciduous shrub with flattened corymbs containing a few pink or blue sterile flowers and numerous fertile flowers within.
  • A vigorous and hardy variety native to Japan and South Korea.
  • Located along the east side of Arboretum Drive south of the double lot.

3)   Lomatia myricoides

  • Evergreen shrub with lanceolated leaves and creamy-white inflorescences native to southeastern Australia.
  • Located on Arboretum Drive at the entrance to Pacific Connections Gardens.

4)   Maackia chinensis

  • A member of the family Leguminosae, Maackias are a genus of deciduous trees named after Richard Maack, a Russian naturalist who died in 1886.
  • Located along Arboretum Drive, this ever-leaning specimen is currently showing its cylindrical, downy racemes, densely-crowded with flowers.

5)   Sorbus rehderiana

  • With elongated glossy leaflets and crimson fruits, this small tree native to Tibet is a handsome member of our Sorbus Collection.

June Color Appears at the Washington Park Arboretum

June 11th, 2012 by Pat Chinn-Sloan

Selected cuttings from the Washington Park Arboretum for 6/4/12-6/18/12

1)   Argyrocytisus battandieri  (Pineapple Broom)

  • Don’t worry if you can’t pronounce the Latin name; the common name tells it like it is.
  • Yellow, “pineapple”-scented, leguminous flowers with silvery foliage.
  • This drought-tolerant shrub from Morocco is one tough plant that thrives in poor soils.
  • Named for the French pharmacist and botanist, Jules Aimé Battandier.
  • Located along Arboretum Drive in our Legume Collections.

2)   Crataegus x lavallei  ‘Carrierei’ (Carrière’s Hawthorn)

  • Our signature Woodland Garden tree
  • Now a common small landscape hawthorn used around Seattle.
  • Glossy, dark green quasi-evergreen leaves with clusters of white flowers in the spring.

3)   Hydrangea anomala ssp. petiolaris  (Climbing Hydrangea)

  • White blooms, yellow fall foliage, and exfoliating cinnamon bark create multi-seasonal interest.
  • “There is no better climbing vine,” says Donald Wyman, authority on woody plants.
  • Native to western Korea, Japan and Taiwan.
  • Several located in the Arboretum, climbing up Douglas Firs as high as 60 feet!

4)   Leptospermum lanigerum  (Woolly Tea Tree)

  • Handsome erect shrub approximately 9 feet tall. All parts are covered with soft down.
  • Native to Australia.
  • Located in the Australia Entry Garden of the Pacific Connections Garden.

5)   Pterocarya macroptera  (Large-winged Wingnut)

  • Deciduous tree native to China, quite striking in fruit.
  • As its name suggests, the Wingnut produces winged nuts but unlike the walnut, they are not generally eaten.
  • Located in the old nursery, off of Arboretum Drive.

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

May 29th, 2012 by Pat Chinn-Sloan

Selected cuttings from the Washington Park Arboretum (May 21 - June 4, 2012)

1) Aesculus pavia   (Red Buckeye)

  • Deciduous shrub to 8 – 12 feet
  • Native to southern U.S.
  • Located along Lake Washington Boulevard near the Japanese Garden

2) Cornus alternifolia   (Alternate Leaf Dogwood)

  • Small tree to 20 feet
  • Native to eastern North America
  • Located between Loderi Valley and Azalea Way

3) Illicium henryi   (Henry Anise Tree)

  • Small tree to 10 – 15 feet
  • Native to western China
  • Located near the Asiatic Maples and the Rhododendrons seedling bed

4) Pterostyrax psilophylla   (Small Epaulette Tree)

  • Deciduous tree up to 45 – 50 feet
  • Native to central China
  • Located behind Azalea Way (bed H)

5) Sinojackia rhederiana   (Jack Tree)

  • Small tree or shrub reaching heights of 15 – 20 feet
  • Native to southeast China
  • Located near the Rhododendron Glen parking lot

May Color Appears at the Washington Park Arboretum

May 20th, 2012 by Pat Chinn-Sloan

Selected cuttings from the Washington Park Arboretum for May 7 - 21, 2012

1)   Rhododendron luteum

  • Also called Yellow Azalea or Honeysuckle Azalea.
  • Despite the sweet perfume, the nectar is toxic. Records of people poisoned by eating the honey date back to 4th century B.C.
  • Cultivated both as an ornamental and as root stock.

2)   Laburnocytisus adamii

  • Also known as Adam’s laburnum or broom laburnum.
  • Considered a horticultural curiosity, some branches produce yellow flowers while other branches produce coppery-pink flowers.
  • Located along Arboretum Drive south just south of the Sassafras.

3)   Paeonia Lutea var. Ludlowii

  • A rare Chinese form of tree peony.
  • Large saucer-shaped blooms appear in late spring in a beautiful clear yellow color.
  • Avoid pruning except to remove large branches.
  • Located along Arboretum Drive across from the Sequoias.

4)   Petteria ramemtacea

  • Fragrant yellow flowers in early summer and tri-foliate leaves make this unusual plant resemble a shrubby golden chain tree.
  • Native to Yugoslavia and Albania.
  • This specimen is located along the east side of Arboretum Drive behind the Dove Tree.

5)   Sophora microphylla

  • Known as the Kowhai tree in its native New Zealand.
  • The blooms of the Kowhai are regarded as New Zealand’s national flower.
  • All parts of the Kowhai, but particularly the seeds, are poisonous to humans.
  • Located along Arboretum Drive

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

April 30th, 2012 by Pat Chinn-Sloan

Selected cuttings from the Washington Park Arboretum (April 23, 2012 - May 6, 2012)

1)  Azara lanceolata

  • An evergreen shrub with arching branches and lance-shaped leaves, A. lanceolata bears clustered yellow flowers in mid to late spring. Native to South America, Azaras is a genus of 10 species within the family, Flacourtiaceae.
  • Located in the double lot on the east side of Arboretum Drive.

2)  Cercis siliquastrum   (Judas-tree)

  • A deciduous tree usually of low, bushy habit, C. siliquastrum forms magenta-colored flower clusters before and with the leaves, and often on the main branches.
  • The popular name of Judas-tree is derived from the legend that this was the tree upon which Judas hanged himself after the great Betrayal.
  • Located along Arboretum Drive near the Rock Roses.

3)  Citrus trifoliata

  • Native to Northern China and Korea, C. trifoliata is a deciduous shrub armed with sharp spines along rigid green shoots. Solitary, fragrant white flowers are borne in late spring, and often again in autumn.
  • Located west of Azalea Way near the Boyer parking lot.

4)  Fothergilla major

  • Erect terminal spikes of fragrant white flowers give this upright shrub a charming quality during the spring season.
  • Native to the Allegheny Mountains, from Virginia to South Carolina.
  • This specimen is located near the ongoing Pacific Connections Gardens Project, east of Arboretum Drive.

5)  Malus ‘Makamik’
As with many of our flowering crabapples, M. ‘Makamik’ is currently showing off its clustered pink to purple blossoms.

  • Conveniently located within Crabapple Meadow, east of Arboretum Drive.

April Color Appears at the Washington Park Arboretum

April 11th, 2012 by Pat Chinn-Sloan

Selected cuttings from the Washington Park Arboretum for April 9-23, 2012

1) Camellia japonica ‘Drama Girl’

  • Hybridized in 1950, this winner of the RHS Award of Garden Merit has very large, semi-double, deep salmon rose pink flowers.
  • Located in the Camellia Collection on the east side of Arboretum Drive.

2) Ilex aquifolium ‘Ferox Argentea’ (Hedgehog Holly)

  • This holly is a large, bushy evergreen shrub with small, spiny leaves whose upper surfaces as well as the margins are broadly-edged with creamy white.
  • This male clone produces no berries, and is not invasive like other English holly varieties are.
  • Located near Boyer Ave. in the Holly Collection.

3) Pieris japonica ‘Crispa’

  • This plant has the early spectacular flowers of Pieris, with the added bonus of unusual crinkled leaves, and a somewhat more compact growth.
  • Located in Rhododendron Glen, above the Upper Pond.

4) Rhododenron ‘Ibex’

  • A striking red, early flowering Rhododendron.
  • Hybridized in 1941 by Leopold de Rothschild, an English banker and conservative politician best remembered as the creator of Exbury Gardens.
  • Located on the Upper Trail, across from the Magnolia Collection.

5) Rubus spectabilis (Salmonberry)

  • A species of Rubus native to the western coast of North America from west central Alaska to California.
  • Salmonberries were an important food for indigenous peoples. Traditionally, the berries were eaten with salmon or mixed with oolichan (a Pacific smelt) grease or salmon roe.
  • An important part of our native matrix, and can be found throughout the Arboretum.