November 3rd, 2011 by Jennifer Youngman, Communications Specialist
by Wendy Gibble [edited for the web; see complete article on page 3 of the Rare Plant Press
Twenty-five volunteers, agency partners and Rare Care staff gathered in Klickitat County in mid-June to monitor known populations of rare plants in the Klickitat Wildlife Area, Conboy National Wildlife Refuge and surrounding areas. We knew from the outset that our survey plans had to be adjusted. Late wet spring conditions caused as much as a one-month delay in the onset of flowering for many species. We were too early to catch the long-bearded sego lily (Calochortus longebarbatus var. longebarbatus) in bloom. But we caught the tail end of Baker’s linanthus (Leptosiphon bolanderi), a tiny spring annual that normally blooms in April and May. Our timing was perfect for finding Pulsifer’s monkey-flower (Mimulus pulsiferae), another tiny annual found in seasonally moist areas that seemed to have benefited from the spring moisture.
Klickitat County was an ideal location for Rare Care’s fifth annual monitoring weekend. It’s at the east end of the Columbia River Gorge, a region that hosts some of the state’s most diverse flora. The Gorge is one of the few places in the northwest where moist Pacific air meets dry Columbia Basin air near sea level, providing a corridor for migration and a refuge for relict populations from previous glacial and interglacial periods. The Columbia River system also provides a significant corridor for species movement from its headwaters in the Rocky Mountain ecoregion of British Columbia, through the Okanogan highlands, Columbia Basin shrub-steppe, and east Cascades, and out to the wetter ecoregion of the west Cascades. The convergence of these topographic features is likely a major factor in the high number of endemic species found in the vicinity.
Twenty-four surveys were completed over the three-day campout, including new populations of rare plants such as oblong bluecurls (Trichostema oblongum), western ladies-tresses (Spiranthes porrifolia) and common bluecup (Githopsis specularioides). Regional endemics such as Barrett’s penstemon (Penstemon barrettiae), gooseberry-leaved alumroot (Heuchera grossulariifolia var. tenuifolia), and Suksdorf’s lomatium (Lomatium suksdorfii) are locally common on the cliffs and steep slopes of the Klickitat River. We monitored several populations of each and documented several new sites while surveying for other rare plant populations. We also monitored blue-flowered diffuse stickseed (Hackelia diffusa var. diffusa) and the very rare Ames’ milk-vetch (Astragalus pulsiferae var. suksdorfii), found in Washington only from an area around Conboy National Wildlife Refuge.
Although we accomplished so much in the short three days we had, we wrapped up the monitoring weekend with the impression that there is still much ground to cover in the region. We look forward to more explorations in the basalt canyons and pine woodlands in the coming years.
Images from top left:
- Barrett’s penstemon, photo by Janka Hobbs
- Barrett’s penstemon, photo by Betty Swift
- Keying gooseberry-leaved alumroot on a steep slope, photo by Julie Bresnan
- Gooseberry-leaved alumroot, photo by Julie Bresnan
- Diffuse stickseed, photo by Julie Bresnan
- Monitoring rare plants in a cool June, photo by Bev Linde
You may view additional photos on Rare Care’s page on Facebook.
September 28th, 2011 by Carrie Bowman
Oral History of Washington Park Arboretum, the Arboretum Foundation and the Center for Urban Horticulture
In 2010, a combined effort of many donors, led by John Wott, funded an oral history project, administered by the Miller Library. Carrie Bowman is supervising the project; Shelly Leavens was hired last November and spent the past ten months conducting research and interviewing people. People with long term associations with the Washington Park Arboretum, the Arboretum Foundation, and/or the Center for Urban Horticulture were invited to participate. Carrie, with the help of many others, looked for narrators who fulfilled multiple roles within these organizations, as well as seeking narrators from outside them.
The collection of interviews is an open door to our history. The intent of this phase of the project was to collect a variety of interviews, index them so that people can determine what was discussed, and organize them so that materials relevant to each interview are gathered in one place. Research materials, field notes, indexes, and narrator data sheets are all included with the interviews. This collection will remain in the Miller Library and will be available for public use. Arboretum Bulletin article.
The public is invited to a presentation of the project on Tuesday, November 1, from 5 – 7 pm in the Miller Library. Several displays will showcase the interview collection and will remain on exhibit in the library from Oct 21 until the week of Nov 20. The displays include audio clips from the interviews, set up so that people can browse at 5-10 different “stations.” Light refreshments will be provided.
July 21st, 2011 by Jennifer Youngman, Communications Specialist
The new Cascadia bog is a perfect solution for a wet spot.
When the Cascadia section of the Pacific Connections Garden was under construction, a natural depression appeared. Recognizing the potential for this poorly-draining area, Jason Henry of the Berger Partnership incorporated a Cascadian bog into the design. Pacific Connections Gardener Kyle Henegar explains, “Creating the bog is a long-term process as the soil conditions mature, the plants are phased in, and as Roy Farrow and I continue to procure and stage snags and rocks to create a more realistic-looking garden. I suggest visitors come visit the bog frequently to see how it ages over time and develops the beautiful patina of a native bog.”
An irrigation system will keep the soil soggy during dry months. Vegetation includes Andromeda polifolia, Ledum glandulosum and Rhododendron occidentale grown from seed collected in the Siskiyou Mountains by Collections Manager Randall Hitchin, and Darlingtonia californica from the UW Botany Greenhouse. Native plants such as huckleberry and maidenhair fern are serving as placeholders while bog plants are being phased in. In addition, the Cascadian Focal Forest contains a Siskiyou seep area along the east side of the first stairway. It too is being phased in and is currently full of container-grown native plants and plants grown from wild-collected seed.
Darlingtonia californica from the UW Botany Greenhouse
Rhododendron occidentale grown from seed collected in the Siskiyou Mountains by Collections Manager Randall Hitchin
June 1st, 2011 by Tech Librarian, Tracy Mehlin
NHS Hall at the Center for Urban Horticulture is perfect for your next wedding or staff retreat.
Purpose: This event will showcase indoor and outdoor venues at UWBG Center for Urban Horticulture and nearly 50 vendors who serve our rental customers for their business meetings, symposiums, conferences, classes, graduations, weddings, bar/bat mitzvahs, auctions, memorial services, parties, fundraisers, etc.
Who’s Hosting: UWBG Rental Program in collaboration with nearly 50 vendors
Who’s Invited: UW department representatives, government representatives, event planners, wedding planners, the general public shopping for a beautiful rental facility and top-notch vendors
When: Thursday, July 21, 2011, 3:00 – 7:00 p.m.
Where: Center for Urban Horticulture, 3501 NE 41st St. (Near U-Village)
RSVP: 206-221-2500 with name and # attending
Questions: Contact Lauren S. Fortune, UWBG Facilities & Rental Program at 206-685-1706 or firstname.lastname@example.org
May 9th, 2011 by Tech Librarian, Tracy Mehlin
In the spring of 2001 the Elisabeth C. Miller Library launched a new service designed to answer plant and gardening questions quickly over the phone or via email.
“How do I prune a Hollywood juniper to shape and train it so it looks good?”
The Plant Answer Line is staffed by professionally trained librarians who also have a life-time passion for gardening. The librarians find answers in an extensive collection of books and magazines, as well as online from trusted websites and databases. Over the last decade, tens of thousands of gardeners from all over the world received well researched answers with citations to sources.
“Can you tell me how to grow Hibiscus from cuttings?”
Buy your Plant Answer Line gear today!
To celebrate the ten year anniversary of the Plant Answer Line the Miller Library opened a Cafe Press shop where travel mugs, caps, book bags and magnets may be purchased all featuring the PAL anniversary logo.
Have a question? Call 206-897-5268 (UW-PLANT) or send a message to email@example.com. Plant Answer Line is a free service, but the Miller Library depends on private donations to buy books and pay staff.
“Will I be able to get syrup from maple trees in our climate?”
March 15th, 2011 by Tech Librarian, Tracy Mehlin
- A mature Ilex opaca tree that stayed behind in the Pacific Connections Garden
UW Botanic Gardens Collection Manager, Randall Hitchin, reports the majority of the hollies transplanted in 1999 are in good or excellent condition. More than 150 plants were moved in order to make room for the new Pacific Connection Garden.
The Arboretum has one of the most diverse holly collections in the United States. The collection grows on the west side of Lake Washington Blvd just south of Boyer Ave.
2010 Holly Collection Summary for the Washington Park Arboretum
March 3rd, 2011 by UWBG Communication Staff
Saturday, March 12, 2011 9am – 5pm
at the Center for Urban Horticulture, 3501 NE 41st, Seattle.
Choice specialty nurseries, lectures by Dan Hinkley, Hellebore “Theatre”, drawings for Great Prizes, & More! Complete Information.