386 posts in Washington Park Arboretum

UW Botanic Gardens Director, Fred Hoyt, to Retire


Fred Hoyt, UW Botanic Gardens Director and Orin and Althea Soest Chair for Urban Horticulture, has announced he will retire at the end of January, 2021. Please join us in showing our appreciation for Fred’s service and congratulating him on his retirement.

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Jan 10, 2021 / Washington Park Arboretum, Horticulture / UWBG Arborist, Clif Edwards

Winter Interests at the Washington Park Arboretum

Photo of Briar Rose Camellia

1)   Camellia sasanqua ‘Briar Rose’                                          Briar Rose Camellia

This medium-sized, flowering evergreen shrub is native to Japan.  Camellia sasanqua has many cultivars with the most popular being varieties that bloom in winter.
You can currently view ‘Briar Rose’ Camellia in bloom, sitting at the Mary Hughes Foxworth memorial in the Camellia Collection.

2)  Garrya x issaquahensis                                                               Silk Tassel Tree

The Silk Tassel Tree is a medium-sized evergreen bush with an abundant winter floral display of long male catkins that are creamy white-to-light green with pink highlights. 

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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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Happy Holidays from Your UWBG Horticulture Staff!

Photo of Ilex opaca, American Holly grove

We invite you to enjoy our “Game of Groves”.
Can you name the following iconic tree groves based on the photos shown and hints below?

I am a grove of nine broadleaf evergreen trees with berries that are commonly used as Christmas greens.  My location is an “island” in the middle of the ocean surrounding our five Pacific Rim flora.  

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Nov 12, 2020 / Washington Park Arboretum, Horticulture, News / UWBG Horticulturist, Darrin Hedberg

Selections from the New Zealand Garden at the Washington Park Arboretum

Photo of Mingimingi

1)  Coprosma propinqua                                       Mingimingi

Coprosma is a genus of about 90 species of shrubs and trees found in various Pacific regions, including New Zealand and Australia.  They range from trees to low-growing spreading shrubs and those with a divaricating habit.
A member of the plant family Rubiaceae, C. propinqua is found in swampy areas and near streams throughout New Zealand.  The leaves are very small and oblong and the berries are a translucent blue color. 

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Oct 11, 2020 / Washington Park Arboretum, Horticulture, News / UWBG Horticulturist, Joanna Long

“Barking up the Right Tree”

Photo of Orange Bark Stewartia

1)  Stewartia monadelpha                                                                  Orange Bark Stewartia

Stewartia monadelpha is a small tree (up to 25 feet high) with stunning cinnamon bark.
A member of the Camellia family, the white flowers resemble those of small, simple Camellias and can be viewed in early summer.
Several beautiful specimens can be viewed at the southern end of the Camellia Collection.

2)   Lagerstroemia indica x fauriei  ‘Muskogee’                             Muskogee Crepe Myrtle


This garden hybrid was developed by the National Arboretum in Washington, D.C. 

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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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Sep 10, 2020 / Washington Park Arboretum, Horticulture, News / UWBG Horticulturist, Ryan Garrison

Selected Cuttings from the Washington Park Arboretum and the Garden of Virginia L. Morell

Photo of Narrowleaf English Holly

Virginia L. Morell was an avid gardener, president of the American Holly Society, Arboretum Foundation board member, and volunteer at the Washington Park Arboretum.  Virginia and Jean L. Haigh started the Arboretum ‘Saplings’ Program, which they ran for two years.  This program was taken over by UW Botanic Gardens Youth and Family Education and now serves thousands of school children each year. 

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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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Aug 24, 2020 / Washington Park Arboretum, Horticulture, News / UWBG Horticulturist, Roy Farrow

More Summer Specials at the Washington Park Arboretum

Photo of Rose Glory Bower

1)  Clerodendrum bungei                                                                            Rose Glory Bower

Rose Glory Bower (of the Lamiaceae family) is native to China and northern India.
This shrub spreads aggressively by root suckers and has become invasive in the South.
The rosy-red flowers are very showy and fragrant and attractive to butterflies.
You can find Clerodendrum bungei along Azalea Way below the Winter Garden.

2)   Hydrangea serrata ‘Blue Bird’                                                        Blue Bird Hydrangea

The Blue Bird Hydrangea was an Royal Horticulture Society Award of Merit winner in 1960. 

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