April 2019 Plant Profile: Cornus purpurea-flavus

The April Plant Profile is the stunning Cornus purpurea-flavus, also known as the Purple and Gold Dawgwood. Native to Western Washington, this shrub has the potential to be boundless, so don’t try and fence it in. It can tolerate a lot of rain, but can be affected by heavy snowfall. These Dawgwoods can flower at any time of the year, but blooms are most prolific in June. 

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March 2019 Plant Profile: Olea europaea ‘Frantoio’

If you’ve been dreaming of escaping our cold, snowy Pacific Northwest, to a sunny and warm Mediterranean climate, dream no more! The ‘Frantoio’ is one of the most successful olive trees for the Pacific Northwest. Touted as the hardiest olive for our climate, 10° F or below and apparently gains cold hardiness the older it gets. Beautiful silvery foliage is attractive year-round. 

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February 2019 Plant Profile: Eucalyptus gunnii

Eucalyptus gunnii is the tallest eucalyptus in the Arboretum and is now one of the taller broadleaf trees—being nearly 80’ tall at present—and enjoys a prominent position in the future footprint of the Australian Forest. Part of its longevity and good performance is also likely due to its provenance.  Eucalyptus are generally grown from seed, and seed from higher elevation trees have proven to be much hardier.  

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January 2018 Plant Profile: Salix fargesii

Salix fargesii buds

Species: Salix fargesii Family: Salicaceae Common Name: Chinese willow, Farges willow Award of Garden Merit by the Royal Horticultural Society: 2012 This very attractive willow was “discovered” by Isaac Henry Burkill in 1899 and introduced to the west from central China in 1910 by E.H. Wilson. In 1908 Wilson collected his specimens in the woodlands near Fang Hsien at an altitude of 6000 feet. 

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December Plant Profile: Liquidambar styraciflua

Common Name: Sweetgum  Family: Altingiaceae Locations: there are 12 of these trees in our collection: for specific locations check our Living Collections database We also have some of the Asian species; Liquidambar acalycina, Liquidambar formosana and Liquidambar orientalis Origin: Eastern, southeast and lower central United States, Mexico and Central America. Height and Spread: to150 feet in the wild and 60-80 feet in cultivation After our last couple weeks of wind storms most of the leaves have been blown from the trees. 

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July Plant Profile: Hydrangea integrifolia

Originally posted July 1, 2014 An evergreen hydrangea?!!  You betcha! There are very few evergreen vines for gardeners in the Pacific Northwest, but this gorgeous gem from Asia is  becoming more readily available and it’s simply one of the coolest flowers you’ll ever get to witness opening. From plump, peony-like buds, they begin to slowly crack open, a froth of fertile flowers begin to form and over the course of a few days, a flat umbel “lacecap” begins to form. 

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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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