The New Zealand Dead Look

Selected cuttings from the Washington Park Arboretum, January 17 - 31, 2017

New Zealand has a large number of shrubs with small tough leaves and wiry interlacing branches – divaricates. Some even have brown or grey new growth, giving a dead-like appearance. It is suggested that this may be a defensive mechanism to deter browsing moa (extinct flightless birds). 1)  Coprosma propinqua                (Mingimingi) A visiting New Zealand scholar once described Coprosma as “a genus without morals that hybridizes incessantly” as she was politely telling us she didn’t think we were actually growing true Coprosma propinqua. 

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Cold? No Problem

Selected cuttings from the Washington Park Arboretum, (January 3 - 16, 2017)

The following conifers are among the cold-hardiest on earth! 1)   Abies balsamea                (Balsam Fir) USDA Hardiness Zone 3: -40° to -30°F. North American fir with range distribution as far north as Labrador, Canada. Balsam fir is the most cold-hardy and aromatic of all firs. 2)   Juniperus communis                (Common Juniper) USDA Hardiness Zone 2: -50° to -40°F. The most widespread tree or shrub in the world! 

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Happy Holidays from the Washington Park Arboretum!

Selected cuttings from the Washington Park Arboretum (12/20/16 - 1/3/17)

1)   Calocedrus decurrens                Incense Cedar This native of Oregon and south to Baja California was first described by Colonel John C. Fremont in 1846. Incense cedar is often confused with Western Red Cedar (Thuja plicata), but is distinguished by its branchlets being held vertically, its narrow pyramidal habit, and by the lack of white stomata on the leaf undersides. Located north of the Wilcox Bridge (marked by a sign) and east of the Pinetum Loop Trail. 

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Fine (Evergreen) Foliage of Fall

Selected cuttings from the Washington Park Arboretum (October 31, 2016 - November 13, 2016)

1)   Arbutus unedo                    Strawberry Tree Autumn brings bright white bell flowers and deep red-orange fruit, both of which are set off by the deep-green, leathery leaves. Hidden under the foliage are attractive stems with shredding red-brown bark. 2)   Berberis (Mahonia) fortunei              Chinese Mahonia Many evergreen Mahonias have excellent textural foliage, from large and bold to low and delicate. Berberis fortunei can be found growing low to the ground on our Sino-Himalayan hillside. 

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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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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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