Medicinal woody plants growing in the Washington Park Arboretum

December 30th, 2013 by Kathleen DeMaria, Arboretum Gardener
photo

Bark from the Pacific Yew, Taxus brevifolia

1) Taxus brevifolia (Pacific or Western Yew)

  • Native from southern Alaska to central California
  • Chemotherapy drug Taxol was derived from the bark
  • All parts of the plant are toxic except the fleshy red aril surrounding the little green cones

2) Salix (Willows)

  • Aspirin is derived from Salicylic acid (component of Willow-bark extract)
  • Medicinal use dates back to at least the 5th century BC when the Greek physician Hippocrates prescribed it to ease pain and reduce fevers.
  • Lewis and Clark used willow bark tea as a remedy for crew fevers

3) Hamamelis virginiana (Witch Hazel)       

  • Leaves and bark contain hamamelitannin believed to be responsible for astringent properties, hemostatic properties, and antioxidant activity
  • North American Indians distilled bark, leaves and twigs to make eyewash, treatment for hemorrhoids, internal hemorrhages, and gum inflammation.

photo4) Ginkgo biloba (Maidenhair tree)

  • Considered a living fossil, Ginkgo  is native to China
  • Chinese people appreciate the dry-roasted nuts as a treatment for lung qi deficiency

5) Thuja occidentalis (Eastern arborvitae)

  • One of the four plants of the Ojibwe medicine wheel
  •  Rich in vitamin C, thought to have cured many bouts of scurvy in mariners

Source: Moerman, Native American Ethnobotany; Van Wyk and Wink, Medicinal Plants of the World; Schafer, The Chinese Medicinal Herb Farm

Share

Opening Night tickets now available

December 26th, 2013 by UWBG Communication Staff

photoThe Arboretum Foundation host’s the Opening Night Party and Auction at the Northwest Flower and Garden Show. This year the party is on Tuesday, February 4th. Guests will enjoy strolling through the fabulous display gardens with a glass a wine.  The money raised at the event supports the Washington Park Arboretum. Purchase tickets and learn more.

 

Share

Art Exhibit: Birds Watching by Larry Hubbell

December 26th, 2013 by UWBG Communication Staff

drawing by Larry Hubbell

Larry Hubbell’s Birds Watching: photos & paintings

On exhibit in the Miller Library from January 4 to February 15.

Please join us for the artist’s opening reception on Friday, January 10 from 5:00 to 7:00 pm.

A portion of the proceeds from artwork sales benefit the Library.

Share

Foster Island landscaping prep work begins 12-18-2013

December 17th, 2013 by UWBG Communication Staff

Foster Island Landscaping – Dec. 2013 preliminary fieldwork

What is the work and why is it being done?

  • Crews will conduct archeological evaluations on Foster Island in the Washington Park Arboretum to prepare for landscaping improvements that will be implemented as a part of the SR 520, I-5 to Medina: Bridge Replacement and HOV Project.
  • Landscaping improvements will include planting native plants in the area.
  • WSDOT is assisting with landscape improvements in coordination with the Arboretum as part of a mitigation plan for effects to Foster Island developed in compliance with Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act.
  • This work is necessary so crews can better understand sediment profiles that will help inform additional archeological investigations in spring 2014 for the proposed landscaping improvements.

How will the work be done and what will I see?

  • Work is planned for Dec. 18, 2013. In the event of poor weather conditions, work could be delayed up until Jan. 31, 2013.
  • Crews of approximately three people will be on site using small diameter hand augers to examine soil samples. A maximum of ten auger test bores will be placed.
  • This fieldwork will be completed within one day.
  • No trail closures or other public space closures will be required to perform this work.
  • Crews will re-fill the sample areas and replace sod at the auger locations.

What are the next steps?

  • The next phase of archaeological work required for the proposed landscaping treatments is planned for spring 2014. Crews will fence off work areas during this time.

Who can I contact for more information?

  • SR 520 contact information:
    • 24-hour construction hotline: 206-708-4657
Share

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

December 16th, 2013 by Pat Chinn-Sloan
Selected cuttings from the Washington Park Arboretum (December 9 - 23, 2013)

Selected cuttings from the Washington Park Arboretum (December 9 – 23, 2013)

1)   Abies balsamea   (Balsam fir)

  • Pitch from almost every conifer is used to seal and protect wood.
  • “Canada Balsam” from the Balsam Fir is used to cement together the lens elements in optical equipment and to mount specimens for microscopy.
  • It is North America’s most popular Christmas tree, but only newly planted in the Arboretum in grid 42-4W.
  • Native to eastern North America

2)   Cedrus libani   (Cedar of Lebanon)

  • “Cedar oil” is distilled from several conifers, mostly not Cedrus, the “true cedar”.
  • Cedar oil has insecticidal properties, was used in ancient embalming, and is currently used as immersion oil in microscopy and to mask surface flaws in emeralds.
  • Several of our true cedars – Cedar of Lebanon, Atlas Cedar, and Deodar Cedar are located along the Lynn Street entrance, west of the Wilcox foot bridge.

3)   Picea sitchensis   (Sitka spruce)

  • Before the introduction of chicle, North Americans (both natives and immigrants) chewed spruce gum.
  • Spruce roots are used for stitching bark canoes and weaving hats and baskets.
  • The famous “Spruce Goose” was not spruce but acquired its alliterative sobriquet because early airplane builders valued spruce’s high strength-to-weight ratio.
  • Our best Sitka spruce is in 15-B on Azalea Way.

4)   Pinus monticola   (Western white pine)

  • The Lower Kootenay Band of the Ktunaxa Nation made bark canoes from white pine bark.   See the website: sturgeon-nose-creations.com
  • Industrially, pine extracts make pine tar, turpentine, pitch, and rosin for violin bows, ballet shoes, baseball bats, and soldering flux.
  • Pinus monticola is in the Pinetum in grid 35-6W.

5)   Quercus suber   (Cork oak)

  • Quercus = oak, suber = cork. Location: Rock Roses on Arboretum Drive.
  • Any questions?
Share

December Color Appears at the Washington Park Arboretum

December 1st, 2013 by Pat Chinn-Sloan
Selected cuttings from the Washington Park Arboretum (November 26, 2013 - December 9, 2013)

Selected cuttings from the Washington Park Arboretum (November 26, 2013 – December 9, 2013)

“Berry Best from Hollywood”

1)   Ilex aquifolium   ‘Ferox Argentea’   (Variegated Porcupine Holly)

  • This “Punk” star is a sterile male with spiny leaves, but obviously no berries.
  • But this means it doesn’t contribute to English holly’s invasiveness in the Pacific Northwest.
  • Old cultivar in England, first reported in 1662 (Galle).
  • Specimen is located in the Eurasian clade (family), W. berm, of the Ilex Collection.

2)   Ilex maximowicziana var. kanehirae

  • This “Mod” diva has a tidy upright form with black berries.
  • Native to China and Japan
  • Has gone through many name changes, intermediate between I. crenata and I. triflora.
  • Specimen is located in the Asian/North American clade of the Ilex Collection.

3)   Ilex opaca  ‘Boyce Thompson Xanthocarpa’

  • An American holly celebrity which dares to be different, sporting yellow berries.
  • Reported to have been discovered in the wild, Mount Vernon, VA, late 1920’s.
  • Specimen located in the American clade, S. berm, of the Ilex Collection.

4)   Ilex verticillata  ‘Winter Red’     (Winterberry cultivar)

  • You don‘t always need to be dressed in leaves, says this scarlet actress.
  • Reliable shrub with heavy, bright red fruit set and good berry retention.
  • A nice thicket is found along Azalea Way, just north of Lookout Pond.

5)   Ilex x  ‘Nellie R. Stevens’

  • This mischievous leading lady has been nothing but trouble!
  • Claiming English holly parentage, but also Chinese holly parentage. In any case, no denying she certainly resembles English holly in my book.
  • Specimen is located in the Eurasian clade, N. berm, in the Ilex Collection.
Share

UW Farm Stand – Just in time for Thanksgiving!

November 26th, 2013 by UWBG Communication Staff

uw farm logoStop by the UW farm stand this Wednesday for freshly harvested leeks, beets, carrots, greens, herbs, and more, perfect for a locally-grown Thanksgiving dinner.

10am to 3pm Wednesday, November 27

Center For Urban Horticulture – Merrill Commons

UW Farm Website
UW Farm on Facebook

 

cuh map

Merrill Commons is the greenhouse attached to Merrill Hall at the Center for Urban Horticulture

 

Share

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

November 18th, 2013 by Pat Chinn-Sloan
Selected cuttings from the Washington Park Arboretum (November 12 - 25, 2013)

Selected cuttings from the Washington Park Arboretum (November 12 – 25, 2013)

Got Greens?

1)   Fokienia hodginsii     (Fokienia)

  • Native to China, Vietnam, and Laos
  • Extremely slow growing outside of native range
  • Specimen located in Rhododendron Glen

2)   Keteleeria evelyniana     (Keteleeria)

  • Native to China, Vietnam, and Laos
  • Thrives in warm climates, but may be considered an “herbaceous perennial” in northern climates
  • Specimen located in north Pinetum area

3)   Taiwania cryptomerioides     (Coffin Tree)

  • Native to Taiwan, China, and Vietnam
  • Considered “critically threatened” in native range
  • Specimen located near East Newton Street entrance to the Pinetum area

4)   Thujopsis dolabrata     (Lizard Tree)

  • Native to Japan
  • Thrives in moist, shady areas with rich soil
  • Specimen located among Acer Collection in the Woodland Garden

5)   Torreya taxifolia     (Stinking Cedar)

  • Native to southeastern U.S. (Florida)
  • Very rare in native range due to a fungal pathogen
  • Specimen located between Loderi Valley and the Woodland Garden
Share

Slope Stability and Vegetative Soil Stabilization in the Puget Sound Region

November 15th, 2013 by Jessica Farmer, Continuing Education Coordinator

The topography of the Puget Sound region presents construction and management challenges with hills, ravines, coastal bluffs and shorelines that can be subject to erosion and landslides in our rainy winter weather. This issue creates safety concerns, transit and travel nightmares, permitting complexity, and questions about how to best design and construct in steep landscapes.

Land managers, planners, engineers, landscape architects and others need to know the most current information about how water and geology interact, why the land moves, and what can be done to reduce erosion and promote stability. This intermediate-level symposium offers an in-depth look at the hydrology and geology of our region, and the tools and techniques available to allow for successful slope stabilization.

Eroded slope in Washington state.=

Photo courtesy of Washington State Department of Transportation

Thursday, December 5, 2013
8:15 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
University of Washington Botanic Gardens
Center for Urban Horticulture
3501 NE 41st St, Seattle, WA 98105

Cost:
$125 per person. Lunch is included.
($150 after November 21)

Contact:
urbhort@uw.edu or 206-685-8033.

Register:
https://www.cfr.washington.edu/uwbg/

Who should attend: Professionals working with shoreline property, ravines, and other topographically-challenged sites in the fields of engineering, planning, landscape design and construction, horticulture, landscape architecture, ecological restoration, consulting, arboriculture, and other land-management specialties.

Speakers include:

  • Bill Laprade, Senior Vice President at Shannon & Wilson, Inc. on Geology & Hydrology of Puget Sound.
  • Elliott Menashe, Natural resource manager & consultant, Greenbelt Consulting, on Vegetation, Erosion, and Slope Stability: role and benefits of vegetation; and Bio-Structural Engineering for Erosion Control and Slope Stabilization.
  • Dr. Stan Boyle, Vice President at Shannon & Wilson, Inc., on Geosynthetics for Erosion Control and Reinforcement.
  • Rob McIntosh and Seth Amrhein, City of Seattle Department of Planning and Development, on permitting and regulations on steep slopes.
  • Joe Burcar, Senior Shoreline Planner, Washington Department of Ecology, on critical areas and shoreline regulations related to Geologically Hazardous Areas, steep slopes.
  • Nicholas Dankers, ISA Certified Arborist and Qualified Tree Risk Assessor, on Conifer Care Guidelines related to trees on slopes.

Professional CEU’s have been approved for CPH, PLANET, and ASCA. APLD and ISA credits are being pursued. View the seminar webpage for updates.

 

Draft Seminar Schedule_Updated_11_26

Share

A Glimpse into the Past – Azalea Way before the Azaleas

November 7th, 2013 by UWBG Communication Staff

By John A. Wott, Director Emeritus

photo

Grading Azalea Way in the Washington Park Arboretum circa 1938

Seventy-five years ago, work was beginning on the creation of the “University of Washington Arboretum” in Washington Park, as the Dawson/Olmsted plan had been accepted.   This month’s photo was taken by Frederick Leissler, landscape architect for the Seattle Parks Department, labeled as 1938-39.  It shows the grading to create Azalea Way.   Leissler actually developed the first preliminary sketches in 1934 for a comprehensive plan of the Arboretum, but the sketches were not accepted.

Scot Medbury, in preparation for his M.S. thesis (The Olmsted Taxonomic Arboretum and its Application to Washington Park, Seattle; 1990) interviewed Leissler shortly before the landscape architect’s death. Copies of Leissler’s archives are available in the Miller Library.   The Leissler plan, along with several others including one by Otto Holmdahl, were not accepted.  The accepted plan was funded with a $3000 gift from the Seattle Garden Club, which hired James Dawson of the Olmsted Brothers firm.

Leissler wrote the description on the back of the photo, giving the details, “In the Grading of ‘Azalea Way’, over 50,000 cu. yds. of dirt was moved and several thousand cu. yds. of cow manure and peat moss worked into the soil”.  (signed Fred Leissler, Asst. Dir.)   This was no small feat back in 1938.

photo

Described by Leissler: “In the Grading of ‘Azalea Way’, over 50,000 cu. yds. of dirt was moved and several thousand cu. yds. of cow manure and peat moss worked into the soil”

As we meander along the three-quarter mile path today, we are indebted to those persons of vision who created one of the world’s most magnificent grass public walkways.  I am reminded of a warm July afternoon in the mid-1990s, when members of the Board of Directors from the Huntington Botanical Garden practically all lay prone in the middle of Azalea Way, in awe of this green oasis bordered by statuesque Northwest conifers. Today thousands of Northwest residents and visitors make this a regular walk.  The next time you walk Azalea Way, why not wonder what those creators might be saying if they “walked beside you today!”  Do it soon!

Share