147 posts in Plant Profiles

September 2019 Plant Profile: Chionanthus retusus

Chionanthus retusus bark closeup

This showy, small tree deserves space in Northwest gardens.

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August 2019 Plant Profile: Ornamental Oregano

pale green bracts with tiny pink flowers

Grown for their delicate showy flowers rather than pungent leaves, the ornamental oreganos deserve a place in Pacific Northwest gardens.

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July 2019 Plant Profile: Calycanthus occidentalis


This western native shrub will spice up your garden with showy burgundy flowers in June.

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June 2019 Plant Profile: Quercus suber

Quercus suber habit

The bark of this tree is lightweight, impermeable, elastic, and a great insulator. Humans have used it to close up wine bottles for centuries.

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May 2019 Plant Profile: Rhododendron edgeworthii

Rhododendron edgeworthii flower

I was walking around the grounds at the Center for Urban Horticulture last week looking for a plant to feature in the May edition of our Plant Profiles. While walking through the Fragrance Garden a really cool-looking rhododendron caught my eye, just about to bloom. Little did I know just how cool this rhododendron was until I started researching it! Rhododendron edgeworthii is a species rhododendron and belongs to the lepidote (scaly leaved) group. 

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April 2019 Plant Profile: Prunus salicina ‘Beauty’


The Beauty Japanese plum first entices bees in early spring with sweet-smelling flowers and then temps humans with luscious red fruit in mid summer.

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Apr 1, 2019 / Plant Profiles / Special April Guest Author, Joe King

April 2019 Plant Profile: Cornus purpurea-flavus

The April Plant Profile is the stunning Cornus purpurea-flavus, also known as the Purple and Gold Dawgwood. Native to Western Washington, this shrub has the potential to be boundless, so don’t try and fence it in. It can tolerate a lot of rain, but can be affected by heavy snowfall. These Dawgwoods can flower at any time of the year, but blooms are most prolific in June. 

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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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