Examples of the Plant Collections Network at the Washington Park Arboretum

Several genera at the Washington Park Arboretum are part of a multi-site nationally-accredited plant collection administered through the Plant Collections Network of the American Public Gardens Association. The Plant Collections Network is one of the most significant networks of cultivated living plant collections on Earth and is used for taxonomic studies, evaluation, breeding, and other research. The Network stewards diverse living collections at public gardens across North America to safeguard plants and share them with the world.

The Arboretum’s collections include Acer, Ilex, Magnolia, and Quercus.  Presented below is one plant representing each genus.

1)   Acer griseum                                                                                   Paperbark Maple

Photo of Paperbark Tree bark
Ryan Garrison
Photo of Acer griseum bark
Photo of Paperbark Maple Tree
Ryan Garrison
Acer griseum
  • This tree is native to central China and introduced to European and North American cultivation in 1901 by Earnest Henry Wilson.
  • Paperbark maple is admired for its shiny, reddish-orange peeling bark and for its beautiful autumn foliage.
  • Several excellent specimens can be found in the Daniel J. Hinkley Asian Maple Collection.

2)   Ilex shennongjiaensis

Photo of Ilex shennongjiaensis foliage
Ryan Garrison
Photo of Ilex shennongjiaensis foliage
Photo of Ilex shennongjiaensis tree
Ryan Garrison
Ilex shennongjiaensis
  • This holly was discovered and introduced to cultivation by the Sino-American Botanical Expedition to western Hubei in China in 1980.
  • Two specimens are located in the Eurasian clade section of the Ilex Collection, which is along Lake Washington Boulevard, north of the Seattle Japanese Garden.

3)   Magnolia grandiflora ‘Goliath’                                          Goliath Southern Magnolia

Photo of Goliath Southern Magnolia foliage
Ryan Garrison
Photo of Magnolia grandiflora ‘Goliath’ foliage
Photo of Goliath Southern Magnolia tree
Ryan Garrison
Magnolia grandiflora ‘Goliath’
  • This southern Magnolia is native to the southeastern United States from Virginia to central Florida and west to eastern Texas.
  • They are valued in horticulture for their large white, lemon-scented flowers.
  • This cultivar can be found in the Magnolia Collection along Arboretum Drive.

4)   Quercus myrsinifolia                                                                      Bamboo Oak

Photo of Bamboo Oak foliage
Ryan Garrison
Photo of Quercus myrsinifolia foliage
Photo of Bamboo Oak tree
Ryan Garrison
Quercus myrsinifolia     
  • This oak is native to eastern, central, and southeastern China, Japan, Korea, Laos, northern Thailand, and Vietnam.
  • It features evergreen leaves that are long and narrow with a pointed tip like a bamboo leaf, a dense canopy with long twisting branches, and new growth that is bright red.
  • An excellent specimen can be found at the top of the small hill in the Quercus Collection.