Winter Interest at the Washington Park Arboretum

Selected cuttings from the Washington Park Arboretum, December 10 - 23, 2018
Clif Edwards
Selected cuttings from the Washington Park Arboretum, December 10 – 23, 2018

1)  Camellia sasanqua                          Sasanqua Camellia

  • This glossy evergreen shrub with attractive flowers is native to China and Japan.
  • There are many cultivated varieties of this species with the first ones being recorded from Japan around 1700. Over 15 varieties reside in our Camellia Collections.
  • The plant was valuable to early Japan as the leaves were used for tea and the seeds used to make tea seed oil.

2)  Mahonia ‘Arthur Menzies’                          Arthur Menzies Mahonia

  • A large evergreen shrub with large upright yellow flower clusters that can grow up to 10 feet tall.
  • When in bloom, this plant can provide opportunities to view hummingbirds.
  • This cultivar is recognized as a garden hybrid that was introduced to the Washington Park Arboretum, and first described by WA Park Arboretum curator, Joe Witt in the spring of 1967.  One is located at the top of Rhododendron Glen.

3)  Quercus suber                          Cork Oak

  • The thick bark of this Mediterranean tree provides cork for wine stoppers as well as flooring, cricket ball centers, and fishing poles.
  • Forests of the cork oaks provide habitat for many endangered species.
  • This tree is one of the highlights of our Mediterranean Collections.

4)  Stewartia pseudocamellia                          Japanese Stewartia

  • With the leaves gone, enjoy the interesting dull-orange to greenish-grey mottled bark.
  • The Latin name, pseudocamellia, refers to the flowers which resemble those of Camellia.
  • Native to Japan and Korea, this tree was introduced into Western cultivation in 1874.
  • These and other Stewartia with interesting bark, can be seen amongst the Camellia Collections.

5)  Taiwania cryptomerioides                          Coffin Tree

  • The graceful branching and blue hue of the foliage provide a nice winter contrast.  See them in the Pinetum or near the Sequoia Grove.
  • This tree is native to eastern Asia and is one of Asia’s largest growing trees.
  • Now a rare tree in the wild, it has legal protection in China and Taiwan.
  • The wood was once used for coffins and in temple buildings.