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

April 20th, 2014 by UWBG Horticulturist
Selected cuttings from the Washington Park Arboretum (April 15 - 28, 2014)

Selected cuttings from the Washington Park Arboretum (April 15 – 28, 2014)

1)   Melicytus angustifolius

  • This southern hemisphere Violaceae relative thrives in rocky places in mountains or on coasts, or in evergreen forests.
  • Is ‘dioecious’ or ‘of two houses’ in Greek translation; male and female flowers are present on separate plants.

2)   Erica arborea var. alpina

  • Found along the southern end of Arboretum Drive, this is one of the older collections in the Washington Park Arboretum, dating back to 1947.
  • This form, var. alpina, is a smaller shrub, very hardy, and with brighter green foliage, making an imposing highlight among smaller heaths and heathers.

3)   Poncirus trifoliata  (syn. Citrus trifoliata)

  • Bitter, non-edible yellow fruits that resemble a small orange
  • Two large specimens in the Arboretum found in grid 8-1W and 12-B, north of the large parking lot off of Lake Washington Bouvelard.

4)   Viburnum carlesii var. bitchiuense

  • This spicy smelling Viburnum is the intoxicating fragrance you’ll be hit with the moment you walk out the front door of the Graham Visitor’s Center.
  • Listed on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants in 1997, our cultivation of this plant helps to preserve a propagation source for future plants.

5)   Phyllocladus alpinus

  • This New Zealand conifer can photosynthesize through highly modified, leaf-like shoots called phylloclades as well as through leaves.
  • The newly-formed seed cones are berry-like, with a fleshy white aril.
  • Male and female flowers are separate, but borne on the same plant.
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Another stunning Rhody

April 19th, 2014 by Catherine Nelson, Adult Tours Program Assistant

Rhododendron macabeanum is one of the finest big leaved Rhododendron species and has received the Royal Horticultural Society’s Award Of Garden Merit.  It has larR.mcabeanumge yellow/white flowers often blotched purple inside with an interesting bright pink stigma.  The leaves are a dark glossy green and about 1′ in length with a light colored indumentum on the underside.  It also bears a nice silvery young leaf and bright red bud scales.

Native to India at high elevations, this plant was introduced to the West in 1927.  We have a wonderful specimen in the arboretum.  It is blooming right  now and is located between the SE corner of Loderi Vally and the Magnolia Collection.  Our April Free Weekend Walks on Sundays at 1:00 pm will continue to feature this and other amazing Rhododendrons in the UWBG collection.

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April Color Appears at the Washington Park Arboretum

April 6th, 2014 by UWBG Horticulturist
Selected cuttings from the Washington Park Arboretum (4/1/14-4/14/14)

Selected cuttings from the Washington Park Arboretum (4/1/14 – 4/14/14)

1)  Berberis x lologensis

  • A natural hybrid of B. darwinii and B. linearifolia originally found near Lake Lolog, Argentina in 1927
  • If you can get past the thorns, enjoy the rich, spicy fragrance.
  • Located in grid 14-6E near Arboretum Drive.

 

 

2)  Acer tegmentosum  ‘Joe Witt’

  • This striped-bark maple is named for former Arboretum Director Joseph Witt.
  • Located in the Witt Winter Garden and on Arboretum Drive in the Peonies.

3)  Magnolia salicifolia  ‘Else Frye’

  • Selected by Joe Witt for its larger flowers and named for the wife of T.C. Frye.
  • See Arboretum Bulletin Summer 1961, Summer 1962, and Winter 1962 for articles about this tree and the Fryes.
  • The original tree is in the Magnolia Collection, grid 26-2E.

4)  Magnolia x kewensis  ‘Wada’s Memory’

  • Part of a collection of plants purchased from Koichiro Wada in Japan in 1940.
  • Selected by Arboretum Director Brian Mulligan for its unusually large flowers.
  • The original tree is in grid 11-6E in the Hydrangeas.

5)  Quercus suber  (Cork Oak)”

Close-up photo of <em>Quercus suber</em>  (Cork Oak)

Close-up photo of Quercus suber (Cork Oak)

  • Evergreen oak native to southern Europe. A tree of incalculable social value, it produces the cork of
    commerce.
  • Located in the Rock Roses on Arboretum Drive.
  • This cutting includes the distinctive acorns – extremely rare in the Pacific Northwest.
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It’s Rhododendron season

April 5th, 2014 by Catherine Nelson, Adult Tours Program Assistant

The Rhododendron occidentale is one of two NW native Rhododendron species (the other being our Washington State Flower, Rhododendron macrophyllum).
Commonly called Western Azalea or Honeysuckle Shrub, it is found along the Pacific Coast from lower Washington to central California. This specrhododendron occidentalisies shrub is tolerant of wet soils and can be found in wetlands and along creeks in its native environment.
These Azaleas can grow to 15 ft. in height and do well in our Seattle climate when provided some shade, though they are not drought tolerant in summers. They are prized for their beautifully colored pink/white/yellow flowers, which are extremely fragrant this time of year.
John Muir encountered the shrub in the Yosemite region & said of it, “It is very showy & fragrant, & everybody must like it not only for itself but for the shady alders & willows, ferny meadows, & living water associated with it.”
Our UW Botanic Gardens’ Free Weekends Walks for the month of April will feature Rhododendron species and cultivars during their their peak bloom time. Please join us any Sunday at 1:00pm at the Graham Visitors Center to learn more.

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Fiddleheads Forest School: Spring Dispatch from the Forest Grove

April 2nd, 2014 by Sarah Heller, Community Programs Coordinator & Fiddleheads Forest School Director

Discussing the importance of earthworms and what they do.

The word spring comes from the old English springen, meaning “to leap, burst forth, fly up; spread, to grow.” This is a marvelous description of what we’ve been seeing happen to the minds, hearts, and bodies of students in the forest grove these past few weeks. The new growth in the forest has paralleled a very different sort of growth among the children’s minds. There is a certain level of attunement to one’s surroundings that we have been encountering with the children on an increasing regular basis.

“Teacher Sarah! Teacher Kit!”- We’ll see a head peek up as a child shouts with exuberance: “I noticed something!” Often it is somObservation recordingething related to a concept we’ve been discussing- buds on trees or mushrooms in grass- but more and more the children are engaging with their environment on a very particular level. They are learning to see things that most of us do not get the time or perceptual experience needed in order to perceive. They are becoming expert observers, small naturalists in the making. Few of us have the opportunity to reach this point at any point in our lives, so it is exciting to see it come to fruition among minds still so full of possibility.

And speaking of minds, the children have been learning quite a bit about their brains lately. In addition to Joanne Deak’s excellent book “The Fantastic Elastic Brain”, students in the forest grove have been examining a model of the brain, and discussing the way they’ve “stretched” their brain on a daily basis. They giggle about the word “hippocampus” and point out the cerebellum on a pretzel bitten carefully into the shape of a brain at snack. Most importantly, there is excitement at the idea that they can shape their own brain by learning new things. Whenever we hear a child exclaim- “I made a mistake- but that’s ok because mistakes are the best way to learn!” our hearts leap with joy. This knowledge is often what gives them the confidence to confront a problem or admit a poor choice so that they can resolve a conflict with a friend or work to succeed at an activity in which they’d struggled at first.

In the natural sciences, children have been using their observational skills to explain the changes they’re observing in the grove as well as the surrounding environment. Learning about the parts of the bean was like a ticket into a secret world- one where eacIMG_9429h seed holds the possibility of tiny life within it. Many children have been going home and opening up their beans or peas at dinner to display the first leaves and tiny radicle hidden within! They’ve been collecting big leaf maple sprouts around the classroom and watching as the seed coats peel away and the new leaves burst forth. Tending to our tiny garden of baby maples in the fairy village has been all the more impressive in that we can compare this miniscule plants to the giant big leaf maple above that produced them.

We have also been learning about the parts of the plant. We examined ornamental strawberry plants, from root to leaf before planting them in the entrance to the forest grove. Children carefully dug holes for the roots, placed the plants, then covered and made protective barriers for the young shoots. Next, we read a book about the parts of the plant that allowed us to see each part individually as well as in relation to the rest of the plant through a series of overlays that combine to show all the separate plant parts. This has allowed us to discuss the plant life cycle as a whole and learn about how flowers swell and change to produce fruits, which provide protection and a method of disseminating new seeds. In the coming weeks we will learn more about these when we explore the parts of the flower, the process of pollination, and the parts of the fruit.

AHolding a new maple sprout before plantings we look toward the last 3 months of school, we are excited to continue building on our knowledge of our surroundings. The warmer weather offers new possibilities for learning activities, and children are excited to be able to sit and do new sorts of work involving extended concentration. After we finish up our botany unit, we’ll begin learning about the cardinal directions and maps, using our skills to assist us as we explore new and different areas of the arboretum. With so much to see and do, the possibilities for learning are endless!

Author: Kit Harrington, Fiddleheads Forest School Director and Lead Teacher

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A glimpse into the past: the early years of FlorAbundance

April 2nd, 2014 by UWBG Communication Staff

By John A. Wott, Directory Emeritus

The first major plant sale in Seattle (now called FlorAbundance) was sponsored by the Arboretum Foundation as a fund raiser for what was then the University of Washington Arboretum. The sales were originally held in a small building called Floral Hall, which later burned down. As the plant sale grew, it was moved to the small cluster of buildings on the northern end of the Arboretum.

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An eager crowd of shoppers line up waiting to get into the 1982 FlorAbundance sale. Photo by John A. Wott.

When the Graham Visitors Center and its larger parking lots were opened in 1986, this increased the available sale area. Eventually the sale outgrew this location as well. First, it was moved to an outdoor area on the Naval Station Puget Sound grounds where the volunteers almost froze with the cold winds. Then for several years it was held in the E-1 Parking lot on the University of Washington campus.   Although the parking lot had plenty of space, it also had hot sun, beating winds, and no shelter from heavy rains. It also had little electricity and water. After the Puget Sound Naval Station was “given” to the City of Seattle and become Warren G. Magnuson Park, Building 30 became an ideal home for many years. While that building underwent renovation during 2012 and 2013, the sale returned to the Arboretum. This year, FlorAbundance will again return to Building 30 at Magnuson Park.

For many years, the Plant Sale was managed through the Unit Council, an organized sub-group of the Arboretum Foundation. The many AF Units were represented in the Unit Council. The AF members often raised the plants which were sold, or the chair of each section (e.g. trees, perennials) secured those plants from nurseries. Today it is primarily a vendor’s sale composed of area nurseries and garden centers.

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A sale volunteer decked out in a floristic fancy hat. Photo by John A. Wott

Both pictures were taken by me on May 5, 1982 during the first sale I attended. The first shot shows the line-up of attendees at the entrance from Foster Island Drive onto Arboretum Drive. When the rope was dropped, there was a massive stampede to grab the most unusual plants. For many years, after that, it was my privilege to manage the massive line-ups for the cashiers. The second picture features Lee Clarke, a long-time volunteer (and resident poet). Many of the volunteers loved to dress up and wear fancy hats. They obviously enjoyed the customers and working for the Arboretum and its sales.

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Students: Earth day work party at the Arboretum April 12

March 25th, 2014 by UWBG Communication Staff

SCA2014EarthDayJoin the Student Conservation Association for our annual Earth Day service event while celebrating the 30th anniversary of SCA’s conservation leadership youth program in Seattle! Attending will be Liz Putnam, SCA’s Founder and the first conservationist to receive the Presidential Citizens Medal—the nation’s second highest civilian award! Following a short program in the meadow, volunteers will prune back overgrown vegetation, remove invasive plant species, and re-vegetate areas with native plants.

WHEN: Saturday, April 12th, 9:00 am to 2:00 pm
WHERE: Washington Park Arboretum, 2300 Arboretum Dr. E, Seattle, WA 98112
WHAT: Invasive plant removal, planting native species, and spreading mulch
BRING WITH YOU: Please wear weather-appropriate clothing and sturdy shoes that you don’t mind getting dirty
PROVIDED: Whole Foods Market in South Lake Union will provide breakfast. SCA will also provide work gloves and all project supplies.

Please register at earthdayseattle.eventbrite.com to complete the online volunteer waiver.

Questions? Contact Meredith Stone at wanw@thesca.org or 206-324-4649.

Recruit your friends: share this FLYER or this post.

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

March 21st, 2014 by UWBG Horticulturist

“Seeing Red”

Selected cuttings from the Washington Park Arboretum (March 17 - 30, 2014)

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

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
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Harbinger of Spring in Seattle – Flowering cherries on Azalea Way!

March 20th, 2014 by UWBG Horticulturist

Cherry photoMost visitors experiencing the beauty of our historic Azalea Way flowering cherries from now through May probably have no idea of how intensive maintaining their health and prolonging their longevity truly is for the UW Botanic Gardens horticulture staff.   Just ask our Integrated Pest manager, Ryan Garrison. Ryan with staff support spends many a day throughout the year monitoring and controlling the numerous diseases and insect pests our 175 plus cherries are prone to suffer from. Our rainy climate doesn’t help one bit either, especially when dealing with our most notable disease during blossom time;  a fungus known as Cherry Blossom Brown Rot. Yucko!  The good news is any new cherries we plant need to show a reasonable level of resistance. The not so good news is many of our older earlier bloomers, the ones extremely susceptible to the brown rot fungus,  need to be protected with fungicide applications during their bloom period.  As with all of our pest issues, we start with cultural and mechanical control efforts before resorting to chemical controls. The following Integrated Pest management (IPM) program discusses our best management practices for the control of blossom brown rot.  If you are interested in planting cherries for your home garden, I’ve included a list of cherries recommended for our PNW climate.  All have good to excellent resistance to blossom brown rot.

14 new cherries will be planted along Azalea Way, Spring of 2014! Thanks to the UW being awarded funds from the Nationwide Cherry Blossom Tree Planting Initiative grant co-sponsored by the Consulate-General of Japan in Seattle and other supporting local community organizations.

Cherry Blossom Brown Rot - causal fungal agent known as Monolinia fructicola. The fungus overwinters on infected twigs and dried fruit on the tree or ground.  The fungal spores are spread in the spring by wind and rain through the blossoms, causing twig dieback.  As part of the UWBG IPM program, moving toward our goal of eliminating the use of all synthetic pesticides is our ultimate goal.

IPM relies on many strategies to manage plant health care. 

  • Proper ID of the pest and its life cycle
  • Regular monitoring of the plants
  • The use of physical, mechanical, cultural, and biological controls
  • Chemical controls used as a last resort*
  • Least toxic chemicals used

* All spray applications are in compliance with WSDA pesticide regulations.  Sign postings are located at all entrances and Graham Visitor Center. Spray applications are scheduled based on timing and weather. We do our best to apply when public are not present. For more information, pls contact, David Zuckerman at 206-543-8008 or dzman@uw.edu

The cherries are pruned in early fall  to remove infected twigs and improve air circulation.  Tree rings are given a fresh coat of mulch in the fall to bury any infected plant material that may be on the ground.  In our Cherry Replacement program we are only using cultivars that are resistant to Blossom Brown Rot.

Cherries recommended for the PNW:

    • Prunus‘Berry Cascade Snow’
    • Prunus ‘Kwanzan’ syn. ‘Sekiyama’
    • Prunus‘Pink Flair®’
    • Prunus‘Royal Burgundy’
    • Prunus‘Shirofugen’
    • Prunus‘Shirotae’
    • Prunus‘Snow Goose’
    • Prunus subhirtella var. ascendens
    • Prunus x yedoensis ‘Shidare Yoshino’
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March Color Appears at the Washington Park Arboretum

March 9th, 2014 by Pat Chinn-Sloan
Selected cuttings from the Washington Park Arboretum (March 3 - 16, 2014)

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
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