1) Acer palmatum ‘Katsura’ Japanese Maple
- Japanese maples have been cultivated in Japan for over 300 years. While they are most known for their stunning fall colors, I personally enjoy them as much in the spring for their new leaf color.
- ‘Katsura’ is a cultivar which appears to have bright orange new leaves, but on closer inspection, the leaves are bright yellow with a red margin.
- The Woodland Garden at the Washington Park Arboretum, which contains more than 70 cultivars of Japanese maples, is a wonderful place to explore the many colors of Acer palmatum.
2) Adiantum aleuticum Western Maidenhair Fern
- This western U.S. native fern loves a moist shaded area, often colonizing rock walls near streams in canyons.
- In the spring, the new fronds emerge on the ends of creepy, alien-appearing stipes.
- This and other Maidenhair ferns can be found around the Signature bed at the Graham Visitors Center at the Washington Park Arboretum.
3) Athrotaxis laxifolia Tasmanian Pencil Pine
- The Tasmanian pencil pine is a rare conifer in the Cupressaceae family and is endemic to Tasmania where it grows to 60 meters tall.
- This species is intermediate between two other Athrotaxis species and there is some suspicion that it may be a natural hybrid of the two.
- Cuttings will be donated to the UW Botanic Gardens to help preserve this endangered species.
4) Kalmiopsis leachiana
- This fussy yet adorable shrublet is native to the Siskiyou Mountains along the Oregon/California border.
- These plants only reach one foot tall so you’ll need to look carefully for them near the high point of the Cascadia Garden.
- The NatureServe conservation status of this species is “vulnerable”.
5) Magnolia ‘Galaxy’ Galaxy Magnolia
- This cultivar is a hybrid between M. liliiflora ‘Nigra’ and M. sprengeri var. sprengeri ‘Diva’.
- Unlike many other garden magnolias, M. ‘Galaxy’ is a small-to-medium upright tree, growing 20 inches taller per year when young.
- Magnolia ‘Galaxy’ should be blooming now under the grove of Liriodendron tulipifera in our Magnolia Collection along Arboretum Drive.