308 posts in Washington Park Arboretum

Sep 2, 2016 / Washington Park Arboretum, News / Communication Staff

Remembering Jean Witt, Long Time Friend of the Botanic Gardens

Jean Witt, long time friend of the UW Botanic Gardens, passed away last week at age 95.  She was the widow of Joe Witt, the former Arboretum Curator and Professor of Urban Horticulture and for whom the Joseph A. Witt Winter Garden is named.  Together, they were well known for their joint leadership in field study trips of Washington native flora and geology (Jean’s specialty).  

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Late Summer Pods & Flowers on Display at the Washington Park Arboretum

The deep pink flowers of Rosa corymbulosa (Chinese species rose) are followed by elongated coral-red fruit in late summer.

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August Color Appears at the Washington Park Arboretum

1)  Clerodendrum bungei

C. bungei is a deciduous, suckering shrub producing upright shoots and opposite, ovate, toothed, dark green leaves tinged with purple when young.  Salverform, fragrant, dark pink flowers, each with five spreading lobes, are borne in rounded, terminal panicles from late summer to autumn.  Native to China and a member of the family Lamiaceae, this specimen is happily spreading around the south side of bed ‘G’ on Azalea Way. 

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“One is the loneliest number…”

The University of Washington Botanic Gardens is home to truly one of a kind plants.  In botanical nomenclature, a monotypic genus refers to the case where a genus and only a single species are described.  These plants are often “living fossils”, comprising the last living remnant of ancient lineages.  Many are also often in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. 

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July Color Appears at the Washington Park Arboretum

1)  Colutea orientalis                Bladder Senna

This deciduous native of northern Iran has delicate bluish-green pinnate leaves.
The orange flowers are followed by surprising translucent bladder-like fruit pods.
You can find Colutea orientalis in the Legume Collection along Arboretum Drive.

2)  Hydrangea macrophylla  ‘Mme. Emile Mouillere’ Bigleaf Hydrangea

Hydrangea macrophylla is native to Japan.
This cultivar is an example of the Hortensia group – having mophead flowers. 

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Summer Arrives at the Washington Park Arboretum

1)  Cunninghamia lanceolata                (Chinese Fir)

Bluish evergreen foliage contrasts nicely with its scaly bark.
This evergreen tree from China is an important timber tree in its native area.
In 1701, James Cunningham (one of the first European plant hunters to visit China) described and collected this tree.

2)  Hydrangea integrifolia                                                      (Evergreen Climbing Hydrangea)

A vigorous, evergreen vine climbing to over 40 feet, on the trunk of a mature Douglas Fir. 

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July 2016 Plant Profile: Phormium cookianum

Phormium cookianum at the Washington Park Arboretum

Don’t miss the New Zealand Flax now in full bloom in Pacific Connections.

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Glimpse into the past – Arboretum Club House

by John A. Wott, Director Emeritus
In the early days of the Washington Park Arboretum, the Arboretum Club House and Floral Hall exhibit space was the venue for many flower shows, exhibits and functions.  It was the only facility where public functions could be held in the Arboretum.
On April 7, 1968, a fire was discovered at 7:00 a.m. in the Club House.  

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The Wonderful World of Monocots

Monocotyledons, commonly referred to as monocots, are flowering plants whose seeds typically contain only one embryonic leaf, or cotyledon.  A quarter of the world’s known plants are monocots. They are the most economically important group of plants to humans today in agriculture, horticulture, forestry and fiber industries.  Here are a few samples of monocots in our plant collections.
1)  Allium schubertii                                                                            (Ornamental Tumbleweed Onion)

Dried seed heads look like starry tumbleweeds or shooting star fireworks
Located in the Soest Herbaceous Display Garden, bed 6 at the Center for Urban Horticulture

2)  Austroderia richardii syn Cortedaria r.                      

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