Early Flowering Rhododendrons at the Washington Park Arboretum

Selected cuttings from the Washington Park Arboretum, January 28, 2019 - February 10, 2019
Ryan Garrison
Selected cuttings from the Washington Park Arboretum, (January 28, 2019 – February 10, 2019)

1)  Rhododendron arboretum hybrid

  • This Rhododendron, located in the Joseph A. Witt Winter Garden, dutifully produces its blooms of bright rose in the dark of winter.
  • The UW Botanic Gardens’ database has records of it blooming in December, January, and February.

2)  Rhododendron floribundum

  • Native to the southern central area of China, and was first described by Adrien René Franchet.
  • Franchet was a French botanist who was noted for his extensive work describing the flora of China and Japan, based on the collections made by French Catholic missionaries in China – Armand David, Pierre Jean Marie Delavay, Paul Guillaume Farges, Jean-André Soulié, and others.
  • This plant can be found on the Upper Trail near the northern end of the Magnolia Collection.

3)  Rhododendron mucronulatum                          Korean Rhododendron

  • Native to East Asia, it was first described in 1837.
  • This shrub is the first of the Rhododendron flowers to appear on Azalea Way and several thickets can be found at the northern end of this historic promenade.

4)  Rhododendron ririei

  • Native to South Central Sichuan, and first described in 1904 on Mount Omei.
  • Collected and described by noted horticultural collector, Dr. Ernest Henry Wilson.
  • He visited dozens of countries, collected thousands of plant specimens (cuttings and seeds), and took thousands of incredible photographs documenting trees, forests, and landscapes.

5)  Rhododendron sp.

  • This mysterious Rhododendron is currently blooming at the Milburn Memorial.
  • The Millburn Memorial, a stone seating area, was constructed in the 1940s in honor of Anna T. Milburn, past president of the Seattle Garden Club.
  • Although the UW Botanic Gardens staff strive to identify and track every plant in the collection, occasionally we find a plant with a mysterious past. Horticultural and curation staff must use their detective skills to help these amnesiac plants.