136 posts in Plant Profiles

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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May 2018 Plant Profile: Rhododendron ‘Ken Janeck’

Rhododendron 'Ken Janeck'

With blushing pink flower trusses and leaves with a layer of attractive fuzz underneath, Rhododendron ‘Ken Janeck’ is a sensational shrub for Northwest gardens.

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March 2018 Plant Profile: Magnolia stellata ‘Jane Platt’

Magnolia stellata Jane Platt

This star magnolia tree with vibrant pink blossoms extends the show once cherry flowers fade.

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Feb 1, 2018 / Washington Park Arboretum, Plant Profiles / Ray Larson, Curator of Living Collections

February 2018 Plant Profile: Prumnopitys andina

Prumnopitys andina

Prumnopitys andina superficially resembles a yew, which is part of the reason for its English common name, Chilean plum yew. The other part is from the female cone resembling a small plum.

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January 2018 Plant Profile: Salix fargesii

Salix fargesii buds

Species: Salix fargesii
Family: Salicaceae
Common Name: Chinese willow, Farges willow
Award of Garden Merit by the Royal Horticultural Society: 2012
This very attractive willow was “discovered” by Isaac Henry Burkill in 1899 and introduced to the west from central China in 1910 by E.H. Wilson. In 1908 Wilson collected his specimens in the woodlands near Fang Hsien at an altitude of 6000 feet. 

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