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.
April 17th, 2013 by Pat Chinn-Sloan
“Now it will Spring forth!”
1) Acer macrophyllum (Bigleaf maple)
- Taken for granted around here, this time of year our Bigleaf maple is most eye-catching in flower.
- It’s the subtle texture of its expanding leaf that drew my attention.
- Located throughout our native matrix as the dominant deciduous forest tree.
2) Aesculus wangii
- A horse chestnut classified as vulnerable in its native habitat of Vietnam.
- Notice the flattened bract-like stipule of the newly-expanding leaves.
- Our young, marginally-hardy specimen is located in Loderi Valley.
Close-up view of Kalopanax septemlobus (Prickly castor-oil tree)
3) Kalopanax septemlobus (Prickly castor-oil tree)
- Deciduous tree from northeast Asia known for its “tropical” appearance in full-leaf.
- I was impressed by the size of the bud bracts and pure white indumetum of the expanding leaves.
- This specimen is located along the eastern side of Arboretum Creek, south of Boyer Ave. East
4) Picea meyeri (Meyer’s spruce)
- Spruce tree native to China, similar in appearance to Colorado Blue spruce.
- Quite striking, springing forth new needles in combination with red male and female cones.
- Located in the Pinetum, just west of path and south of Stone Bridge.
Close-up view of the poplar, Populus sp
5) Populus sp
- The detail and color contrast in the expanding leaf is awesome!
- This poplar is unidentified in our collections, but worthy of attention.
- Located in the Poplar Collection, south Azalea Way.
April 6th, 2013 by Pat Chinn-Sloan
1) Azara dentata
- Native to temperate and subtropical Chile.
- Bears gold spring time flowers.
- Located in the Pacific Connections Chilean Entry Garden.
2) Liriodendron chinense
- A smaller Chinese version of the North American native tulip tree (Liriodendron tulipifera).
- Known for its unique leaf shape and tulip-shaped flower.
- Located in the Magnolia Collection.
3) Rehderodendron macrocarpum
- A small deciduous tree native to China.
- Bears white spring flowers and kiwi-shaped fruits in the fall.
- Several specimens located along Arboretum Drive and Azalea Way.
4) Viburnum carlesii
- Native to Korea and Japan.
- Bears clusters of 2-3″ fragrant white flowers.
- Located in the Viburnum Collection.
5) Viburnum bitchiuense
- Native to Korea and Japan.
- Very similar to V. carlesii, possibly more heat tolerant.
- Located in the Viburnum Collection.
March 24th, 2013 by Pat Chinn-Sloan
Pacific Connections Garden
1) Corokia x virgata ‘Sunsplash’
- An odd shrub from New Zealand with variegated foliage and wiry, twisty branches.
- This carefree evergreen tolerates some dry and looks great in containers.
- Specimens can be found in the New Zealand Entry Garden.
2) Grevillea victoriae
- Fine-textured foliage, long thin flower clusters and drought tolerance make these evergreen shrubs very popular.
- Also known as Royal Grevillea, it is endemic to parts of Victoria in Australia.
- Several varieties of Grevillea can be found in the Australian Entry Garden.
3) Gaultheria mucronata ‘Rubra’
- A hardy evergreen shrub with pinkish-white bell-shaped flowers followed by beautiful red berries late summer through winter.
- Often referred to as “female prickly heath”, it needs a male plant to ensure fruiting.
- Beautiful masses of G. mucronata can be found in the Chilean Gateway Garden.
4) Phyllostachys dulcis
- Sweet shoot bamboo is considered one of the best edible bamboos.
- Large drooping leaves, thick culms and a white ring at the node make this a very beautiful bamboo.
- A lovely drift graces the Chinese Entry Garden.
5) Ribes sanguineum cv.
- Flowering current is native to western coastal North America.
- It and its varieties and cultivars are valued for their brightly-colored spring flowers and bird and habitat support.
- Enjoy the incredible display of Ribes currently blooming in the Cascadian Entry Garden.
March 10th, 2013 by Pat Chinn-Sloan
1) Camellia japonica ‘High Hat’
- One of our earlier-flowering Japanese camellias.
- This specimen can be found along the west side of Arboretum Drive near the construction zone detour.
2) Pieris japonica ‘Valentine’s Day’
- Showing its large panicles of pink flowers.
- Can be found on Azalea Way just south of the Lilacs.
3) Rhododendron floribundum
- Native to the Szechwan Province of China.
- Specimen currently resides along the Upper Trail near the Rhododendron seedling area.
4) Salix irrorata
- Upright shrub with slender purple shoots and gray catkins borne before the leaves.
- Can be found in the Witt Winter Garden.
5) Stachyurus himalaicus
- Native to western China and Taiwan.
- Spreading, deciduous shrub with arching shoots and bell-shaped flowers borne in racemes in late winter.
- Can be found on the west side of Arboretum Drive across from the double lot.
February 11th, 2013 by Pat Chinn-Sloan
Witt Winter Garden
1) Chimonanthus praecox Wintersweet
- Wintersweet is in the allspice family of Calycanthaceae.
- The sulfur-yellow flowers are intensely fragrant and are born on bare stems.
- This winter garden favorite is native to China.
2) Ganya x issaquahensis Hybrid Silktassel
- This natural hybrid, between G. elliptica and G. fremontii, is native to the western U.S.
- The showy male catkins will soon produce large amounts of yellow pollen.
3) Hamamelis x intennedia ‘Pallida’ Hybrid Witch Hazel
- This cultivar produces large, pale-yellow flowers on a horizontal growing form.
- H. x intermedia is a hybrid between H. japonica and H. mollis, both native to Asia.
4) Hamamelis x intermedia ‘Winter Beauty’ Hybrid Witch Hazel
- This cultivar, though of the same parents as ‘Pallida’, has orange flowers on a taller,
more rounded form.
5) Salix irrorata Bluestem Willow
- The shoots of this upright shrub are purple with a distinct white bloom in the winter.
- The catkins are grey when they emerge, turning red and then quickly to yellow.
January 28th, 2013 by Pat Chinn-Sloan
“Scratch and Sniff”
1) Abies amabilis (Pacific Silver Fir)
- Pacific Northwestern native growing up to 250 feet tall in the wild, but is often short-lived in gardens.
- Its crushed needles smell like orange peel.
- The easiest of the Arboretum specimens to find is on the Upper Trail below the Peony bed.
2) Cupressus goveniana var. pygmaea (Mendocino Cypress)
- The “pygmy” stature occurs in this tree’s native habitat: infertile ancient sand dunes above the Pacific Ocean near Mendocino. In normal soil, it can exceed 100 feet.
- The crushed needles smell like lemon peel.
- It is located on Arboretum Drive near the south end.
3) Laureliopsis philippiana
- Native to Chile and Argentina.
- Crushed leaves smell like orange.
- It is located in the Pacific Connections Entry Garden and on Arboretum Drive in grid 9-4E.
4) Morella pensylvanica (Bayberry)
- Formerly Myrica, native to the east coast of North America from Canada to Florida.
- The fragrant, waxy berries were made into candles.
- Located in 43-B in the Arboretum’s Oak Collection.
5) Pseudotsuga menziesii (Douglas Fir)
- For Northwesterners, this is the essential smell of Christmas in the winter and the forest in summer. It is native to the North American west coast and self-sows freely in the Arboretum.