March 21st, 2014 by UWBG Horticulturist
Selected cuttings from the Washington Park Arboretum (March 17 – 30, 2014)
1) Acer rubrum (Red Maple)
- Specific epithet, rubrum (red), refers to foliage in fall; however, flowers are red too
- One of the earliest trees to flower, appearing in March, well before the leaves
- Located at south end of Arboretum Drive East, against the Broadmoor fence
Close-up photo of the Acer rubrum (Red Maple) flowers
2) Camellia japonica ‘Jupiter’
- Carmine-red flowers with prominent yellow stamens on white filaments
- Located along Ridgetop Trail at head of Rhododendron Glen
3) Chaenomeles sp. (Flowering Quince)
- Old-fashioned, early spring flowering shrub
- OK, so this specimen is not the reddest available, but the best I could find.
- Located behind the Stone Cottage along the public path
4) Grevillea victoriae (Mountain Grevillea)
- This proteaceous plant’s foliage was the feature cutting for the first half of March 2014; now it’s the red flowers.
- Located in the Pacific Connections – Australia Entry Garden
5) Rhododendron strigillosum
- Early maroon-red flowering rhododendron
- Twigs and leaf stalks on young growth covered with long bristles
- Specimens located in the Witt Winter Garden, Woodland Garden and Sino-Himalayan Hillside
March 9th, 2014 by Pat Chinn-Sloan
Selected cuttings from the Washington Park Arboretum (March 3 – 16, 2014)
1) Berberis fortunei (Chinese Mahonia)
- Previously categorized in the genus, Mahonia
- Characterized by narrow, serrated evergreen leaves
- Located in the Sino-Himalayan hillside
2) Grevillea victoriae (Mountain Grevillea)
- Australian shrub, growing up to four meters
- Named for Queen Victoria
- Located in the Pacific Connections – Australia Entry Garden
3) Lomatia myricoides (River Lomatia)
- Originally placed in the genus, Embothrium
- Specific epithet refers to foliage similar to the genus, Myrica
- Located near the Pacific Connections – New Zealand Forest
4) Morella californica (California Bayberry)
- Formerly of the genus, Myrica
- A Pacific Coast native shrub that is well suited for borders and hedges
- Located in the Pacific Connections – Cascadia Entry Garden
5) Podocarpus macrophyllus (Kusamaki)
- Japanese conifer, sometimes referred to as Buddhist Pine
- Known by carpenters for termite resistant wood
- Located near the junction of the Middle Trail and Lower Trail
February 23rd, 2014 by Pat Chinn-Sloan
1) Acer monspessulanum var. turcomanicum
Selected cuttings from the Washington Park Arboretum (February 17 – March 2, 2014)
- An elegant, compact tree reaching 23-33 feet tall.
- Suitable for warm climates and adapted to calcareous and stony soils.
- A mature individual is growing in the Mediterranean bed along Arboretum Drive.
2) Magnolia kobus Kobushi Magnolia
- Blooms in early spring and bears pleasantly fragrant white flowers.
- Native to Japan and cultivated in temperate climates.
- A lovely, large specimen sits in the Arboretum Magnolia Collection.
3) Rhodondendron ‘Directeur Moerlands’
Azalea ‘Directeur Moerlands’
- Derived from crosses between Japanese azaleas and Chinese azaleas.
- Known for their excellent fall color and unsurpassed springs flowers.
- Azalea Way is loaded with beautiful azaleas just ready to explode for spring.
4) Ribes sanguineum ‘Henry Henneman’ Henry Henneman Winter Currant
- Studded with a cap-burst of color at a botanically bereft time of year.
- Easy to grow, well-mannered and amenable to pruning.
- The Cascadian Entry Garden boast several cultivars of this wonderful, early blooming shrub.
5) Sambucus racemosa Red Elderberry
- Grows in riparian environments, woodlands and in generally moist areas.
- Many parts of the plant are poisonous and have been used as an emetic.
- Native to the Pacific Northwest, elderberry bushes dot the Arboretum. Birds love the seeds.
February 6th, 2014 by Pat Chinn-Sloan
Selected cuttings from the Washington Park Arboretum (February 3 – 16, 2014)
1) Chimonanthus praecox Wintersweet
- With exceedingly fragrant yellow flowers borne on the bare shoots in winter, C. praecox has a suitable home here within the Witt Winter Garden.
- Chimonanthus is the Chinese counterpart of the North American genus, Calycanthus.
2) Lonicera standishii Winter Honeysuckle
- A native of China, L. standishii is a perennial favorite because of its charming fragrance.
- This specimen can be found in the Witt Winter Garden.
3) Pieris japonica ‘Valentine’s Day’
- Known commonly as ‘Lily of the Valley’, P. japonica is an evergreen shrub of low habit. The clustered panicles of this particular cultivar are a dark, dusky red color, giving it plenty of mid-winter attraction.
- Located near the south end of the Lilac Collection along Azalea Way.
4) Prunus x subhirtella ‘Rosea’
- Native to Japan, this relatively small flowering cherry has begun to show us its rose-pink blossoms.
- Several specimens can be found throughout the Arboretum, including one along the trail that leads from here to the Winter Garden.
5) Viburnum specimens
- V. farreri ‘Candidissimum’
- V. foetens
- V. x bodnantense ‘Deben’
January 13th, 2014 by Pat Chinn-Sloan
Selected cuttings from the Witt Winter Garden at the Washington Park Arboretum (January 6 – 19, 2014)
Witt Winter Garden
1) Calluna vulgaris ‘Robert Chapman’ Heather, Ling
- This monotypic genus is native from northwestern Europe, through Siberia and Turkey, all the way to Morocco and the Azores.
- The species has over 500 cultivars – some noted for spectacular flower displays in summer, while others display fantastic foliage coloration in winter.
- C.v. ‘Robert Chapman’ has golden foliage throughout summer, which turns red in winter and spring.
2) Cornus sanguinea ‘Midwinter Fire’ Bloodtwig Dogwood
- In winter, the yellow stems of this twiggy shrub brighten to a stunning display of reds and oranges, depending on sun exposure.
3) Danae racemosa Alexandrian, Poet’s Laurel
- This native of Iran and Turkey has no true leaves, only leaf-like modified stem tissue called phylloclades.
- Tiny, yellow flowers that grow directly on the stem produce dramatic red fruits in winter.
- Poet’s Laurel was used by the Romans and Greeks to crown exemplary athletes, orators and poets.
4) Garrya x issaquahensis ‘Carl English’ Silk Tassel
- A hybrid of G. elliptica and G. fremontii, this Garrya bears purple-tinged silvery flower tassels in winter.
- Both parents are native to the west coast of the United States.
5) Hamamelis mollis Witch Hazel
- This Chinese witch hazel has large, very fragrant, golden-yellow flowers in early winter.
December 30th, 2013 by Kathleen DeMaria, Arboretum Gardener
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.
4) 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
December 16th, 2013 by Pat Chinn-Sloan
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?
December 1st, 2013 by Pat Chinn-Sloan
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.
November 18th, 2013 by Pat Chinn-Sloan
Selected cuttings from the Washington Park Arboretum (November 12 – 25, 2013)
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
November 3rd, 2013 by Pat Chinn-Sloan
Selected cuttings from the Washington Park Arboretum (October 28, 2013 – November 11, 2013)
1) Arbutus unedo (Strawberry Tree)
- One of the many species described by Carl Linnaeus in his 1753 landmark work, Species Plantarum.
- An amazing plant with 4-season interest, including fruits and flowers at the same time.
- Serves as a bee plant for honey production and the fruits are food for birds.
2) Camellia wabisuki (Wabisuki Camellia)
- A Sukiya variety with single, pinkish-white flowers and an open growth habit.
- A 70-year-old specimen heralds the magnificent seasonal display in the Witt Winter Garden.
- The flowers of Wabisuki are often used in decorations for Japanese tea ceremonies.
3) Drimys winterii (Winter’s Bark or Canelo)
- A slender tree growing to 60’ feet and native to the temperate rain forests of Chile.
- For centuries, Winter’s Bark was esteemed as a preventative remedy for scurvy before vitamin C was isolated.
- Grown as an ornamental plant for its reddish-brown bark, and clusters of creamy white jasmine-scented flowers.
4) Franklinia alatamaha (Franklin Tree)
- The sole species in this genus, commonly called the Franklin Tree.
- Commercially available for garden cultivation and prized for its fragrant white flowers
- Botanist, William Bartram named this elegant tree in honor of his father’s friend, Benjamin Franklin.
5) Rhododendron occidentale (Western Azalea)
- There is considerable diversity in form and appearance of this species.
- Tolerant of serpentine soils, it is part of the unique plant community found in the Siskiyou Mountains.
- The Western Azalea was an early contributor in the development of hybrid azaleas.