89 posts in Center for Urban Horticulture

UW Botanic Gardens Director, Fred Hoyt, to Retire


Fred Hoyt, UW Botanic Gardens Director and Orin and Althea Soest Chair for Urban Horticulture, has announced he will retire at the end of January, 2021. Please join us in showing our appreciation for Fred’s service and congratulating him on his retirement.

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January 2021 Plant Profile: Symphoricarpos albus

As we anticipate La Niña bringing us a snowy winter, let’s take a moment to appreciate a snowy plant, or rather a plant named for its snowy berries – common snowberry. Botanically known as Symphoricarpos albus, the plant is aptly named for its white clusters of fruit.  The genus is a combination of “symphori” referring to the Greek verb “to bear together,” and “carpos” from the Greek word for “fruit.” The specific epithet “albus” is the Latin word for “white.”  This species of snowberry boasts ripe, white berries that develop in late summer and persist all winter, through the rain, cold temperatures, and even through, you guessed it, our [occasional] snow. 

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Happy Holidays from Your UWBG Horticulture Staff!

Photo of Ilex opaca, American Holly grove

We invite you to enjoy our “Game of Groves”.
Can you name the following iconic tree groves based on the photos shown and hints below?

I am a grove of nine broadleaf evergreen trees with berries that are commonly used as Christmas greens.  My location is an “island” in the middle of the ocean surrounding our five Pacific Rim flora.  

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October 2020 Plant Profile: Blechnum penna-marina

close up of one frond

Despite not having showy flowers this demure evergreen fern deserves to be grown in more Northwest gardens.

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Jun 11, 2020 / Center for Urban Horticulture, Horticulture, News / UWBG Horticulturist, David Zuckerman

Selected Cuttings from the Center for Urban Horticulture

Close-up of Buddleja longiflora (Butterfly Bush)

1)   Buddleja longiflora

This rare evergreen butterfly bush is native to the Serra do Caparao mountains in Brazil.
What makes this Buddleja species unique from other species and cultivars is its stunning, long tubular orange flowers that are paired in three-to-five flowered cymes.
Its flowers, plus striking white tomentose leaves and small stature (four feet), make this a worthy plant to introduce into the nursery trade. 

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May 5, 2020 / UWBG At Home, Center for Urban Horticulture, Horticulture, News / UWBG Horticulturist, Annie Bilotta

Selected Cuttings from the Home of Annie Bilotta, Horticulturist at the Center for Urban Horticulture

Photo of Tall Oregon Grape

Pacific Northwest Natives
1)   Berberis aquifolium, formerly known as Mahonia aquifolium                                                                                                                                        Tall Oregon Grape

Native to the Pacific Northwest from British Columbia to northern California.
Its yellow flowers in April smell like honey and attract hummingbirds and insect pollinators.
Blue-black berries are edible and are used to make jam and juice. Pacific Northwest aboriginal peoples used the bark and roots to make a yellow dye. 

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Spring Transition at the Washington Park Arboretum

Photo of Chinese Winter Hazel

1)   Cornus mas                                                                            Cornelian Cherry

This yellow flowering tree that blooms in late winter to early spring, is native to southern Europe and southwestern Asia.
The common name refers to the fruit that matures in late summer.  The fruit has many cultural uses including jams, medicine, beverages, tools, and spears.
There is a grove of this Cornus at the Center for Urban Horticulture along NE 41st Street.  

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Our 2020 Northwest Flower and Garden Festival Display: “Gateway to a Greener Earth”

Our 2020 Northwest Flower and Garden Festival Display

The following ex-situ conservation plants are all listed as endangered in their region of origin due to habitat loss and climate change:
1)   Araucaria araucana                                                                          Monkey Puzzle

This unique looking conifer is native to the Chilean Andes and considered a living fossil dating back over 60 million years.
The Mapuche Pehuenche people of the Andes value these trees for their edible seeds and spiritual significance. 

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AmeriCorps Environmental Programs Steward – Chloe’s Story of Service

My name is Chloe, and I am serving at the University of Washington Botanic Gardens through AmeriCorps and Washington Service Corps. Before I go into the duties of my specific position, I’d like to give a brief explanation of what it means to serve as an AmeriCorps member. AmeriCorps members often find themselves recruiting volunteers and promoting active community engagement to better serve their local neighborhood. 

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September 2019 Plant Profile: Chionanthus retusus

Chionanthus retusus bark closeup

This showy, small tree deserves space in Northwest gardens.

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