299 posts in Washington Park Arboretum

Autumn in the Arboretum

The Arboretum is one of the best places in Seattle to enjoy fall color and beautiful foliage. We have more deciduous tree species than any other setting in the northwest…all framed by the majestic conifers that characterize our region of the country.

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Aug 30, 2017 / History, Washington Park Arboretum, News / John A. Wott, Director Emeritus UW Botanic Gardens

Glimpse into the past – Duck Bay and Shoreline Restoration

Establishing new shoreline

The water level in Lake Washington dropped an average of nine feet in 1916, when the complete set of canals and locks for increased shipping were completed. Much more land around the edges of Union Bay was then exposed, all of it soft and boggy. The City of Seattle had long used the low spots in various parks as dump sites, which is why artifacts are often found in low areas throughout Washington Park Arboretum. 

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Summer Fruit from the Washington Park Arboretum

Close-up photo of the various Magnolia fruit

1)   Corylus colurna                     Turkish Hazel

This native of SE Europe produces edible nuts inside intricately beaked husks.
This Corylus and other Birch Family members can be found near the terminus of Foster Island Road.

2)   Dipteronia sinensis

Dipteronia is a member of the soapberry family, Sapindaceae, which also includes Acer or maples, another winged-fruited genus.
As fall approaches, the fruit of Dipteronia will continue to ripen to a reddish-brown color. 

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Summer Interests from the Washington Park Arboretum

Selected cuttings from the Washington Park Arboretum (July 31, 2017 - August 14, 2017)

1)   Abies concolor                     White Fir

This tall conifer, native to the mountains of western North America, adds an interesting silvery blue backdrop to our Legume collection.
The young trees are valuable in the Christmas tree trade for their ornamental look.
The specimens in grid 16-6E were planted in 1938.

2)   Acer davidii                     David’s Maple

This tree is named in honor of French priest and naturalist Armand David, who first described the species while on mission in central China. 

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August 2017 Plant Profile: Oxydendrum arboreum

Oxydendrum arboreum is a beautiful summer flowering tree with dramatic fall foliage.

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Our Heralded Hydrangeas

Selected cuttings from the Washington Park Arboretum, (July 17 - 31, 2017)

1)   Hydrangea aspera subsp. robusta

This 10-foot shrub with large fuzzy leaves produces flat, light blue flowers to 12” across on petioles which may reach 14” or more!
Native to the region between the Himalayas, across southern China, to Taiwan.
This 1941 specimen is located in the Camellias, next to Franklin tree along Arboretum Drive.

2)   Hydrangea heteromalla                               Wooly Hydrangea

A tree-like hydrangea native to China and the Himalayas. 

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Selected Cuttings from the Washington Park Arboretum

Selected cuttings from the Washington Park Arboretum (July 5 - 18, 2017)

1)   Hydrangea heteromalla
Wooly Hydrangea

Native to China and the Himalayas.
An arborescent shrub growing to an average 10 to 15 feet.
Located in the Pacific Connections China Entry Garden, south of the shelter.

2)   Itea ilicifolia               Holly-leaved Sweet Spire

Native to western China.
Evergreen shrub, growing up to 16 feet tall and 10 feet wide.
Bears fragrant racemes of greenish-white flowers in late summer and fall. 

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Jun 23, 2017 / History, Washington Park Arboretum, Horticulture, News / John A Wott, Director emeritus

Glimpse into the past – an old pond and a new garden in the works

When visiting the Washington Park Arboretum on a regular basis, it is usually not evident that changes occur in both the plants themselves as well as the land forms.  However it is easy to see when you compare the photographs over a period of years.  This is particularly true when there is water movement involved.
This summer, there will be a new garden constructed near the large southern-most pond along Azalea Way.   

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Hydrangeas, Crape Myrtles and Giant Himalayan Lilies: Summer Delights at the Botanic Gardens

Summer is a great time to visit the UW Botanic Gardens and offers the best weather of the year to enjoy blooms and botanically interesting walks.

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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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