June 2014 Plant Profile: Philadelphus lewisii

June 3rd, 2014 by Soest Gardener, Riz Reyes

Philadelphus lewisii portrait 1The beginning of June boasts boisterous and abundant blooms and this native shrub is no exception. Starting in late May, an otherwise nondescript shrub begins to draw attention as masses of single white flowers suddenly begin to pop open creating a blizzard of deliciously scented clusters that cover a straggly shrub from top to bottom.

 

P. lewisii growing in the upland forest restoration site out in UBNA.

P. lewisii growing in the upland forest restoration site out in UBNA.

Found in open forests in low-mid elevations, Philadelphus lewisii is highly adaptable to the garden where it becomes a large shrub and requires only well-drained soil, moderate moisture, and full sun to part shade. It seems to tolerate competition from other plants very well, but requires some pruning to keep its size in check and to remove dead or non-productive  wood.

A established specimen in full bloom along the entrance into UBNA

A established specimen in full bloom along the entrance into UBNA

Philadelphus lewisii portrait 2

 

Common Name:  Lewis’s Mock Orange
Location: Union Bay Natural Area
Origin: Pacific NW Native
Height and Spread: 6-7′ tall and about 5-7′ wide
Bloom/Fruit Time: Late May – Early July

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UBNA hosts creatures of all sizes…urban wildlife never ceases to amaze!

February 10th, 2013 by Rosemary Baker, UBNA RA

 

A surprising UBNA find - a western redback salamander (Plethedon vehiculum)

A surprising UBNA find – a western redback salamander (Plethedon vehiculum)

Amphibians are the canary in the mineshaft, warning-systems for deteriorating ecosystems and yet this species was found in the former-landfill, Union Bay Natural Area, in January 2013.  Nestled beneath woody debris and in hibernation mode, it was accidentally discovered by a volunteer during a work party to remove Himalayan blackberry.  Why isn’t this one “red-backed”, you ask?  That’s because although most commonly having an orangey-red dorsal stripe, this species occasionally presents a yellow one instead.

What a great find!

 

 

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What’s new in Union Bay Natural Area for 2013, you ask?

February 10th, 2013 by Rosemary Baker, UBNA RA

Greetings! I’m excited and grateful to be the 2013 UBNA graduate student manager for winter and spring quarters. I will be leading volunteer groups maintaining restoration sites throughout the natural area and this season we have begun an internship program with students from Edmonds Community College!

The interns and I are working every Tuesday and Thursday through early June, so if you have any interest in getting dirty, releasing some pent up aggression on the proper objects (weeds!), and basking in the beauty of urban nature, we’re happy to have individual folks join us.  Or if you have a group and wish to arrange for a volunteer work party please contact UBNA manager, Dr. Kern Ewing. His contact info can be found through the University of Washington staff directory.

UBNA Assistant manager, Rosemary Baker planting Skunk cabbage

UBNA Assistant manager, Rosemary Baker planting Skunk cabbage (Lysichiton americanum)

Am so pleased to contribute to the Center for Urban Horticulture community. Happy gardening!

-Rosemary Baker

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