314 posts in Washington Park Arboretum

Selected Mid-Autumn Cuttings from the Washington Park Arboretum

Selected cuttings from the Washington Park Arboretum, October 17 - 30, 2016

1)   Araucaria araucana                Monkey Puzzle

Native to Chile and Argentina in the south central Andes mountains.
This long-lived tree is frequently described as a living fossil.
Large cones yield many edible nuts, similar to a pine nut.

2)   Berberis gagnepainii                                 Gagnepain’s Barberry

This evergreen shrub is native to China in the Sichuan and Yunnan Provinces.
Shrub is protected by many slender three-spined thorns. 

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Autumn Color Arrives at the Washington Park Arboretum

Selected cuttings from the Washington Park Arboretum (October 3 - 16, 2016)

1)  Sorbus alnifolia                                               (Korean Mountain Ash)

Native to central China, Korea and Japan this medium-sized tree boasts showy 2-3 inch umbrella-shaped clusters of 5-petal white flowers in late spring.
As summer yields to autumn, clusters of purple-red to orange-red ½ inch showy fruits appear and persist into winter.

2)  Gaultheria mucronata                                      (Prickly Heath)

Formerly known as Pernettya, this southern Chilean native spends the fall awash with showy globose berries in shades from deep plum to pink to white. 

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Conservation in Action

Few small ornamental trees offer so many attractive qualities in the landscape as the paperbark maple (Acer griseum). With its bright green leaves, coppery peeling bark, and vibrant fall color, this tree is highlighted in gardens across the country, and is specifically recognized as a Great Plant Pick for our region. At the University of Washington Botanic Gardens, we have six individual trees in our collections – one at the Center for Urban Horticulture and five at the Washington Park Arboretum. 

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Volunteer Spotlight: Kyra Kaiser

Kyra Kaiser always dreaded public speaking growing up.  So you might not expect that she would end up as one of UW Botanic Gardens’ most enthusiastic tour guides at the Washington Park Arboretum, leading groups of visitors into the secret places of that 230 acre forested gem inside the City of Seattle.
Kaiser, a second year student at UW who intends to major in plant biology, leads free weekend walks at the Arboretum, a tour program with a broad focus that changes monthly according to the season and route taken. 

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The “Crown Jewels” of the Washington Park Arboretum

cuttings 9-7-16

A tribute to our late Director, Dr. Sarah Reichard.  May she forever garden in peace amongst a grove of Stewartia, her favorite tree.
[Editor’s Note: If you have time to experience their true beauty, it is highly recommended you visit our Stewartia Collection. The smart phone version of our interactive map can be used to pin-point specific locations and information for mature specimens of the species listed below. 

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Biology in the Wild

“I was amazed to learn that the Ginkgo biloba tree, which is thousands of years old but extinct in the wild, was saved by Buddhist monks who planted this tree in their monasteries so the species would live on!”
“We thought we would only hear the Latin names of a multitude of obscure plants,” she said, “but instead we heard amazing stories of survival and cooperation in nature.”
These were just two of the observations made by freshman and sophomore students who took one of the free guided tours at the Washington Park Arboretum.  

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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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