“Arboretum Carnavale” Plants
Following are short profiles of selected plants featured in “Arboretum Carnavale: Wonders of the Winter Garden,” the Arboretum’s entry in the 2018 Northwest Flower and Garden Festival. Click the link to see our full plant list.
Display Garden Plant Sale: Saturday, February 17, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
If you’d like to buy plants from “Arboretum Carnavale” for your own garden, then come to the Arboretum on the Saturday after the Festival. We’ll have a nice selection of Japanese pieris, hellebores, and more. All purchases support Arboretum maintenance and education programs.
Camellia sasanqua ‘Yuletide’ (sasanqua camellia)
The sasanqua camellia is an evergreen shrub from China and Japan. It grows up to 12 feet high and wide and bears glossy green leaves with finely serrated edges. A profusion of lightly fragrant, yellow-centered, white- to dark-pink flowers cover the plant in autumn and early winter. Many selections are available, and they vary in habit, flower form, and flower color. ‘Yuletide’ is a dense, compact, upright plant that lights up the winter garden with masses of single, brilliant-red flowers.
Cornus sanguinea ‘Midwinter Fire’ (bloodtwig dogwood)
Also known as European dogwood and common dogwood, Cornus sanguinea is a multistemmed deciduous shrub from Europe and Northwestern Asia. It produces loose clusters of white flowers in spring followed by blue-black fruits; but the plant is mostly prized for its often stunning fall foliage and its red new twigs and stems, which contrast beautifully with the mature yellow stems, lighting up the garden in winter. The selection ‘Midwinter Fire’ grows up to six feet tall and wide and offers outstanding stem and twig colors and golden-yellow fall foliage.
Cryptomeria japonica ‘Spiralis’ (Japanese cedar)
A slender, graceful, pyramidal-shaped, evergreen conifer from Japan and Southern China, Cryptomeria japonica grows up to 100 feet tall. Its bright-green to blue-green needles are spirally arranged and sharply pointed, though soft to touch. The foliage may turn brownish purple in cold weather. Other ornamental features include one-inch, spherical, fruiting cones and reddish-brown exfoliating bark. Numerous cultivars are available, including ‘Spiralis’, which bears incurved, luminous green needles that twist around the branchlets and give this selection its familiar nickname “granny’s ringlets.”
Edgeworthia chrysantha (paperbush)
A deciduous shrub native to woodland areas in China and the Himalayas, Edgeworthia chrysantha grows up to six feet tall and wide. It’s grown mainly for its dense clusters of stunning, fragrant, pale yellow, tubular flowers, which burst into bloom on the tips of bare branches in late winter or early spring. The slender, blue-green foliage turns yellow in fall. The inner bark of the shrub is used to make fancy paper, hence the common name.
Hamamelis × intermedia ‘Arnold Promise’ (hybrid witch-hazel)
Hamamelis × intermedia hybrids are crosses between the Japanese witch hazel (H. japonica) and Chinese witch hazel (H. mollis). They are loosely-branched deciduous shrubs that typically grow 12 to 20 feet tall and are noted for their spidery, often fragrant, mid- to late-winter flowers, which appear before the foliage emerges. ‘Arnold Promise’ is a vase-shaped selection from the Arnold Arboretum, with ascending branches. It grows up to 15 feet tall and is prized for its wavy, sweetly fragrant, red-cupped, bright yellow flowers. It also has attractive yellow and orange fall color. (Photo courtesy MOBOT Plant Finder)
Helleborus × ballardiae ‘HGC Cinnamon Snow’
Another showstopper in the Witt Winter Garden, this is a Gold Collection Hellebore bred by Josef Heuger in Germany. A sturdy evergreen hybrid, it forms a low mound of handsome leathery, dark green leaves with red stems. Pink buds appear in late winter and early spring and open to reveal large, outfacing, creamy-white flowers with shades of rose and cinnamon. On the underside, the petals are a dark cinnamon rose.
Mahonia aquifolium (Oregon grape)
The state flower of Oregon, Mahonia aquifolium (syn. Berberis aquifolium) is an upright evergreen shrub native to coniferous forests and brushlands from British Columbia south to Northern California. Growing up to six feet high and five feet wide, it produces compound leaves made up of spiny, glossy green leaflets that resemble holly foliage. Yellow flowers appear in clusters above the foliage in early spring and develop into spherical, edible, blue-black fruits that resemble grapes. (Photo courtesy Syp/Wikimedia)
Pieris japonica (Japanese pieris)
A dense, upright, evergreen shrub native to eastern China and Japan, Pieris japonica grows up to 12 feet tall and produces oblong, glossy, dark green leaves. The color of new foliage growth ranges from bronze-pink to red. In early spring, drooping clusters of white to pink, lily-of-the-valley-like flowers cover the plant. Bead-like flower buds develop on the plant by late summer and offer fall and winter interest. Many varieties are available.
Rhododendron ‘Seta’ (hybrid rhododendron)
One of the stars of the Witt Winter Garden at the Arboretum, ‘Seta’ is a compact hybrid of the Chinese species Rhododendron spinuliferum and R. moupinense. It has an upright growth habit and bears small, elliptical, evergreen leaves. In late winter, trusses of white and pink tubular flowers cover the plant and brighten up the cloudy days. ‘Seta’ grows up to six feet tall and wide, and can tolerate sunny locations.