164 posts in Plant Profiles

May 5, 2021 / UW Farm, Farm, Plant Profiles / Griffin Cronk, AmeriCorps Volunteer, Assistant UW Farm Manager

May 2021 Plant Profile: Ficus carica ‘Desert King’

Split fig fruit with red flesh exposed, sitting on top of a fig leaf

If you have ever plucked a ripe fig straight from the tree, the sap oozing from the jam-like interior and suspended at the bottom of the fruit, you know that you have to grow your own figs to fully appreciate their wonder.

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April 2021 Plant Profile: Metasequoia glyptostroboides, aka Hobbit trees

Metasequoia glyptostroboides trunk with grooves

The mysterious case of X-478*A and B, a.k.a. “Hobbit trees”, continue to baffle and impress those who are familiar with these two unique Arboretum Dawn Redwoods.

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Mar 1, 2021 / Washington Park Arboretum, Plant Profiles / Joanna Long, Pacific Connections Horticulturist

March 2021 Plant Profile: The Gaultherias of Pacific Connections

close up of leaves

The Pacific Connections Gardens is a great place to admire examples of related plants from different parts of the globe. One excellent example of this is the genus Gaultheria. Only a few steps separate Gaultheria species hailing from Chile, China, and the Pacific Northwest!
The genus Gaultheria includes over one hundred and fifty species hailing from North and South America, Eastern and Southeastern Asia, New Guinea, Australia, and New Zealand. 

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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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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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September 2020 Plant Profile: Mahonia (Berberis) gracilipes

flowers close up

This noteworthy shrub has unusual flowers, bold leaves and a tidy habit. Why not grow it in your part-shade garden?

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August 2020 Plant Profile: Quercus pontica

green leaves

Consider growing this handsome oak in your Northwest garden.

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Jun 2, 2020 / Plant Profiles, News / David Zuckerman

June 2020 Plant Profile: Tilia americana var. heterophylla

americana var. heterophylla looking up trunk into the crown

I chose to profile the white basswood tree because it’s a North American Linden of impressive size in our collection. Its common name, basswood, is derived from the tough fibrous inner bark called “bast” that is used to make ropes, baskets, mats and many other lightweight wood products. The “white” refers to the undersides of the leaves that are covered with a white indumentum of stellate hairs. 

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May 13, 2020 / Farm, Plant Profiles, News / Perry Acworth, UW Farm Manager

May 2020 Plant Profile (extra): Asparagus officinalis

asparagus spears emerging from the earch

The UW Farm planted more asparagus plants as an act of hope for Earth Day and for those challenged by COVID19, because we will not harvest until 2022. The UW Farm highly recommends planting asparagus in your garden, due to the ease of growing and harvest and nutritional benefits.

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May 6, 2020 / Plant Profiles, News / David Zuckerman

May 2020 Plant Profile: Quercus robur ‘Concordia’

Azalea Way with large golden oak on right side

No other tree in the Arboretum is as beloved as our Golden oak, Azalea Way’s sentinel and harbinger of Spring.

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