121 posts in Plant Profiles

July Plant Profile: Hydrangea integrifolia

Originally posted July 1, 2014
An evergreen hydrangea?!!  You betcha!
There are very few evergreen vines for gardeners in the Pacific Northwest, but this gorgeous gem from Asia is  becoming more readily available and it’s simply one of the coolest flowers you’ll ever get to witness opening.
From plump, peony-like buds, they begin to slowly crack open, a froth of fertile flowers begin to form and over the course of a few days, a flat umbel “lacecap” begins to form. 

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Jun 7, 2017 / What is Growing, Washington Park Arboretum, Plant Profiles, Education, News / Catherine Nelson, Tour Program Assistant

June “Plant” Profile: Discovering Slime Molds

Fuligo septica by Flickr user Scot Nelson

This month, instead of profiling a plant, we’ll be profiling a completely different kind of organism… slime molds!
In the fall of 2015, the Elisabeth C. Miller Library at the Center for Urban Horticulture held an art exhibit about slime molds: Now You See It, the Slime Mold Revelation! I had never head of these organisms and was intrigued by the art display and the amazing enlarged photographs of their fruiting bodies. 

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Apr 24, 2017 / Plant Profiles / Annie Bilotta

May 2017 Plant Profile: Taxodium distichum var. imbricatum

bald cypress cone

Is that dead looking conifer coming back to life? If it’s a pond cypress that delicate new green growth is a normal part of this deciduous conifer’s life cycle.

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April 2017 Plant Profile: Corylopsis pauciflora

 
Corylopsis pauciflora, the buttercup winter hazel, is one of the most charming plants in the witch hazel family.  It features unique and colorful leaves, attractive and lightly fragrant flowers, fall color and is a good size for smaller gardens.  It is the smallest and most compact growing member of the genus.  The genus name means resembling (“opsis”) the leaf of a Corylus, or common hazel (though they are not related).   

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Mar 1, 2017 / Plant Profiles, News / Daniel Sorensen

March 2017 Plant Profile: Corokia cotoneaster

Corokia cotoneaster may not be the first plant that you notice in the landscape, but it might be the plant keeps your attention the longest. This plant’s divaricate branching (having branches of wide angles) and its tiny dark evergreen leaves give it a sparse and angular look which is not a common sight among the green gardens in the Pacific Northwest. 

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February 2017 Plant Profile: Hamamelis x intermedia ‘Jelena’

flowers of Hamamelis 'Jelena'

Hamamelis x intermedia ‘Jelena’ has long been one of the most popular of the hybrid witch hazels.  Flowers appear as a bright copper-orange from a distance.  Closer inspection reveals a bicolored flower, being reddish at the base but changing to more of an orange yellow at the tip.  Although it has relatively little scent compared to the intoxicatingly fragrant Hamamelis mollis, it is prized for its flower color.   

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January 2017 Plant Profile: Chimonanthus praecox

Chimonanthus praecox flower

Very fragrant, early flowering wintersweet will make you smile. Experience it for yourself in the Arboretum’s Witt Winter Garden.

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December 2016 Plant Profile: Arbutus unedo

Except for their bright red fruits and similar common names, the Strawberry Tree (Arbutus unedo) and the strawberry (Fragaria spp.) have nothing in common.  This tree is valued as an ornamental broadleaf evergreen for gardens and it has a long history of appreciation in Western cultures.
The species name ‘unedo’ is attributed to Pliny the Elder who said of the fruit “Unum Tantum Edo” (Latin) meaning “I eat only one”.   

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November 2016 Plant Profile: Betula nigra

Betula nigra

Betula Nigra, known as the river birch, has beautiful shaggy bark and is resistant to the bronze birch borer

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Sep 27, 2016 / UW Farm, Plant Profiles / Sarah Geurkink

October 2016 Plant Profile: Phacelia tanacetifolia

The UW Farm attracts pollinators and builds soil with charming purple tansy.

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