140 posts in Plant Profiles

March 2019 Plant Profile: Olea europaea ‘Frantoio’

If you’ve been dreaming of escaping our cold, snowy Pacific Northwest, to a sunny and warm Mediterranean climate, dream no more! The ‘Frantoio’ is one of the most successful olive trees for the Pacific Northwest. Touted as the hardiest olive for our climate, 10° F or below and apparently gains cold hardiness the older it gets. Beautiful silvery foliage is attractive year-round. 

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February 2019 Plant Profile: Eucalyptus gunnii

Eucalyptus gunnii is the tallest eucalyptus in the Arboretum and is now one of the taller broadleaf trees—being nearly 80’ tall at present—and enjoys a prominent position in the future footprint of the Australian Forest.
Part of its longevity and good performance is also likely due to its provenance.  Eucalyptus are generally grown from seed, and seed from higher elevation trees have proven to be much hardier.  

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January 2019 Plant Profile: Grevillea

Your neighborhood hummingbirds will appreciate the nectar producing flowers on these winter blooming shrubs.

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December 2018 Plant Profile: Agave parryi

This sculptural marvel requires perfect drainage to thrive in Pacific Northwest gardens.

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November 2018 Plant Profile: Viburnum carlesii

Spicy sweet fragrant flowers in spring followed by red berries in summer and flamboyant fall foliage make the Korean spicebush a superlative shrub for Northwest gardens.

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October 2018 Plant Profile: Malus fusca

One of the Pacific crabapples growing at the Arboretum was recently declared a national champion for its impressive size. This native tree tolerates wet soil and has fragrant flowers in the spring. In late autumn the small crabapples add interest to the bare branches.

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September 2018 Plant Profile: Fuchsia magellanica ‘Alba’

By September most shrubs are done blooming for the year, but not so with hardy fuchsias! Not only are they decked out with cheery blooms through the fall, they are also a magnet for native hummingbirds.
 Fuchsia magellanica ‘Alba’ (sometimes listed as F. magellanica var. molinae ‘Alba’) is my personal favorite with pendent pink flowers dangling against a background of dark green foliage. 

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August 2018 Plant Profile: Hydrangea involucrata

This unusual Hydrangea is native to Japan and Taiwan with delightfully big, round buds.

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July 2018 Plant Profile: Illicium henryi

Henry’s star anise, Illicium henryi, is a large, evergreen shrub with dainty red flowers and surprising aromatic leaves.

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June 2018 Plant Profile: finding the story of our George Washington Elm

The Washington Park Arboretum has two large Ulmus americana in the collection: one of which, the “George Washington” elm, is a historic American tree.

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