Winter Interests at the Washington Park Arboretum

1)   Camellia sasanqua ‘Briar Rose’                                          Briar Rose Camellia

Photo of Briar Rose Camellia
Clif Edwards
Camellia sasanqua ‘Briar rose’
  • This medium-sized, flowering evergreen shrub is native to Japan.  Camellia sasanqua has many cultivars with the most popular being varieties that bloom in winter.
  • You can currently view ‘Briar Rose’ Camellia in bloom, sitting at the Mary Hughes Foxworth memorial in the Camellia Collection.






2)  Garrya x issaquahensis                                                               Silk Tassel Tree

Photo of Silk Tassel Tree
Clif Edwards
Garrya issaquahensis
  • The Silk Tassel Tree is a medium-sized evergreen bush with an abundant winter floral display of long male catkins that are creamy white-to-light green with pink highlights.
  • Enjoy the winter display of this Garrya on the southwest border of the Graham Visitors Center patio.
  • This plant is a cross between G. fremontii and G. elliptica – both natives to the west coast of North America.



3)   Hamamelis vernalis  ‘Christmas Cheer’                          Ozark Witch-Hazel

Photo of Ozark Witch-Hazel
Clif Edwards
Hamamelis vernalis  ‘Christmas Cheer’
  • Ozark Witch-Hazel is native to Missouri, Oklahoma, and Nebraska on the Ozark Plateau.
  • Hamamelis vernalis is valued for its winter flowers on arching leafless stems.
    ‘Christmas Cheer’ is currently loaded with red and golden flowers, just south of the Australia collections.
  • The genus Hamamelis consists of three species from North America, one species from Japan, and one species from China.



4)   Ilex crenata ‘Mariesii’                                                    Mariesii Japanese Holly

Photo of Mariesii Japanese Holly
Clif Edwards
Ilex crenata  ‘Mariessii’
  • Ilex crenata is a small evergreen holly with small black berries.  The Mariesii Japanese Holly is valuable in the garden for its small upright structure, slow growth, and dense foliage.
  • This plant received local recognition in 2006 by being added to ‘Great Plant Picks’, a publication from the Elisabeth C. Miller Botanic Gardens.
  • Visit this Ilex and others in the Holly collections on the west side of Lake Washington Boulevard.


5)   Sorbus forrestii                                                                           Forrest’s Rowan

Clif Edwards
Sorbus forrestii
  • Sorbus forrestii is native to the Yunnan Province in China.  The tree is named after Scottish botanist, George Forrest who is given credit for introducing the tree to Great Britain.
  • The tree has a spreading habit and grows 20 feet to 25 feet in height.  The foliage is pinnate with many leaflets and has a stunning fall/winter display of white berries with a dash of pink at the end.
  • This plant has received the United Kingdom’s ‘Award of Garden Merit’.  Visit it in the Sorbus Collection!