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
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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.