1) Leucothoe davisiae Sierra Laurel
- This evergreen member of the Heath family is native to the mountains of eastern and northern California where it grows in bogs and seeps.
- The hot-pink buds will open in spring to reveal white urn-shaped flowers.
- You can find Leucothoe davisiae in the Cascadia Forest.
2) Magnolia sargentiana var. robusta Sargent’s Magnolia
- Magnolias have wonderful fuzzy buds, and Magnolia sargentiana var. robusta has especially large buds covered with soft grey fur.
- This species is from Szechwan Province in China and can reach 35 feet tall and wide.
- You can find a specimen along Arboretum Drive at the top of Rhododendron Glen.
3) Larix ssp. Larch
- These deciduous conifers are native to much of the temperate northern hemisphere.
- Early spring is a great time to admire the vibrant new needles and the tropical-looking magenta young cones.
- Several species of larch can be found around the southern end of Azalea Way.
4) Salix irrorata Dewy Stem Willow
- Native to Wyoming, Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, and northern Mexico, this shrubby willow grows along rivers and streams and in wet meadows.
- The new shoots of the plant are used by the Zuni and Apache peoples to make baskets.
- Many Salix species, including S. irrorata, feature fuzzy catkins in early spring.
- A stand of this species can be found in the Witt Winter Garden.
5) Paeonia suffruticosa Tree Peony
- These showy deciduous shrubs are native to China, Tibet, and Bhutan.
- The fuchsia and lime-green emerging new growth are a welcome sign of spring.
- In late spring, the flamboyant flowers can reach 10 inches in diameter.
- Several cultivars can be seen in the Peony bed along Arboretum Drive, across from the Giant Sequoia Grove.