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

Selected cuttings from the Washington Park Arboretum (January 21 - February 3, 2013)

“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.