JUNE, p. 5: maples and the meaning of indumentum

• Acer palmatum 'Shishigashira', Lion's Mane Maple:
SJG 6/16/11 • Acer palmatum 'Shishigashira', Lion's Mane Maple;
E side of the top N path, Area N
SJG 6/16/11 • Acer palmatum 'Shishigashira', Lion's Mane Maple;
close-up, very dainty leaves, Area N

This on the plant from Elisabeth Carey Miller Botanical Garden:

Acer palmatum ‘Shishigashira‘, commonly called the lion’s head maple, is a very popular and striking cultivar. This is a slow upright grower with dense tufts of crinkled deep green foliage on each branch, looking somewhat like the mane of a lion. The leaves are resistant to burning in full sun and develop a good golden yellow fall color brushed with red-orange. It tends to be one of the latest Japanese maples to color in the fall. Shishigashira makes a great container plant . When placed in the garden it has a sculptural feel that only improves with age.
More here...

• Acer palmatum, Japanese maple:
SJG  6/16/11 • Acer palmatum, Japanese maple - leaves cinnamon shade;
on the E path, by the water, Area H
SJG  6/16/11 • Acer palmatum, Japanese maple - leaves cinnamon shade;
Area H
SJG  6/16/11 • Acer palmatum, Japanese maple - leaves cinnamon shade;
its color caught our attention from across the pond, so we walked there, to look at it;
Area H

No clue what type of japanese maple this exactly is, but here a few websites, if you'd like to hunt:

• Information on Japanese Maple Trees
Fair weather gardens (looks similar to 'Iijima Sunago', but not sure about the green spots, need to look closer)
Amber Hill Nursery

• Rhododendron 'Jindai', Azalea:
SJG  6/16/11 • Rhododendron 'Jindai', Azalea - corolla white with pink sectors;
W path, S of waterfall, by the crab apple tree; Area X
SJG  6/16/11 • Rhododendron 'Jindai', Azalea - corolla white with pink sectors;
Close-up, Area X
13 days later:
SJG  6/29/11 • Rhododendron 'Jindai', Azalea - corolla white with pink sectors

 • Rhododendron yakushimanum, rhododendron:
SJG  6/16/11 • Rhododendron yakushimanum, rhododendron - corolla pink, fades to white,
suede leaves; 3 of them on the service road, Area ZZE
SJG  6/16/11 • Rhododendron yakushimanum, rhododendron
- corolla pink, fades to white; Area ZZE
SJG  6/16/11 • Rhododendron yakushimanum, rhododendron;
suede leaves underneath, the white new growth is leaf, NOT flower, Area ZZE
Kathy commented:
'Also, the term for the soft, velvet-like brown underside of the Yakushimanum is 'indumentum'. - soft hairy covering.'

From wikipedia on the subject:

The indumentum is a covering of fine hairs or bristles (rarely scales) on a plant[1] or insect.
In plants, the indumentum types are:
The use of an indumentum on plants can be pollen-related to propagate the plant or simply protective, or even decorative due to mutations. The use of an indumentum on insects can also be pollen-related, as on bees, sensory like whiskers, or for varied other uses including adhesion and poison.

On the plant from 'Journal American Rhododendron Society':
Rhododendron yakushimanum, known outside Japan for just 50 years, was quickly accepted as one of the most beautiful rhododendrons in the world, and its popularity becomes ever greater. This species is found wild only on Yakushima, an island about 26 kilometers (16 miles) in diameter, located 60 kilometers out in the ocean from the south tip of Japan. At latitude 30° north, the coastal part of this island is subtropical enough for sugar cane and a mangrove swamp, yet the central mountains are high enough to provide a good rhododendron environment. The tallest peak, Mt. Miyanoura, reaches 1935 meters (6348 feet), but Mt. Kuromi, at 1836 meters (6024 feet) is more rocky toward the summit, making it a better rhododendron peak. These and all surrounding mountains are composed of granite, which decays to an open, porous soil favored by rhododendrons in southern Japan.

• Acer palmatum 'Inazuma':
SJG  6/16/11 • Acer palmatum 'Inazuma' - leaves bright like lightning;
right past entrance to the garden and  Garden booth, E side of the path, Area C
SJG  6/16/11 • Acer palmatum 'Inazuma' - leaves bright like lightning;
close-up leaves, Area C

On the plant from Shoot:
'Inazuma' _ 'Inazuma' is a mid-sized, deciduous tree or shrub with deeply divided leaves that are rich deep purple red in spring and early summer, turning dark green, then red-crimson in autumn with green veins.

• White water lily - will have to research that tomorrow, now just a pic:
SJG  6/16/11 • water lilies

• A visitor asked us about the ground cover at the entrance: definitely not not moss, so what else could that be? Turned out corsican mint - Mentha requieni,  in area C:

Corsican mint, close-up


JUNE, p. 4: poor Camellia sinensis & what about 'Williamson' azalea?

• Pinus thunbergii, Japanese Black Pine:

"The trees need not be too tall, but they should be old, splendid in form, and laden with deep green needles".

Kathy shared this quotations from 'Sakuteiki, Visions of the Japanese Garden', 11th century scroll as translated by Jiro Takei and Marc P. Keane - the scroll is among the oldest surviving guides to gardening or, more precisely, the Japanese art of “setting stones.”;  Kathy said she uses this quotations while discussing the Yamasaki black pine on her tours - an idea I want to steal (the tree looks much better in real life):
SJG 6/16/11 • Pinus thunbergii, Japanese Black Pine;
NW of the pond, where the W and N path meet, Area P
SJG 6/16/11 • Pinus thunbergii, Japanese Black Pine; it was already candled this year
-  one new growth on the end of the branch was allowed to stay, the other was pinched

The 100+ year old Japanese black pine (Pinus thunbergii) was donated to SJG in 1993 by Richard Iwao Yamasaki of Seattle, before that it was tended to by him and his father. At its spot northwest of the pond, near the stone wall, this beloved pine confers an abiding strength. Mr. Yamasaki's long association with Seattle japanese garden dates to 1959, when he worked under landscape architect Juki Iida of Japan who supervised the Garden's installation.

• Rhododendron 'Gosho-Zakura', azalea:

SJG 6/16/11 • Rhododendron 'Gosho-Zakura', azalea - corolla white with pink sectors;
under Yamasaki Pine, Area P
SJG 6/16/11 • Rhododendron 'Gosho-Zakura', azalea
- bud and flower close-up; Area P

Info on the plant in BackyardGardener.com:

Rhododendron hybrida (Gosho Zakura Satsuki Azalea)
Compact, low-growing, evergreen shrub that is twiggy and dense with a spreading to rounded form. Leaves are lance-shaped to elliptic and notably smaller, 1/2 to 2 inches long, than other azalea hybrids making it the wonderful bonzai plant that it was originally bred to be. Showy, funnel-shaped, ruffled, lilac-pink flowers with whitish throats, 2 to 2 1/2 inches wide. Flowers are borne from May to June. [...]
Important Info: This Japanese azalea is a hybridization between Rhododendron indicum and Rhododendron simsii.
More here...

They separately list plant Rhododendron (Gosho Zakura Kurume Azalea) - I don't know what is the difference.  One is 'Satsuki', the other 'Kurume'.

• Rhododendron 'Garda Joy', azalea:
SJG 6/16/11 • Rhododendron 'Garda Joy', azalea - corolla (coral) red, semi double;
E side, at the bottom of the hill, Area O
SJG 6/16/11 • Rhododendron 'Garda Joy', azalea - close-up, semi double flower

Info on the plant in BackyardGardener.com:
Rhododendron kaempferi (Garda Joy Kaempferi Hybrid Azalea)
Spreading, cold hardy, semi-evergreen shrub. Leaves are glossy, lance-shaped to ovate, 1 1/2 to 2 inches long. Flowers are borne in showy trusses of 2 to 4 per cluster. Bloom time is midspring to early summer. Foliage turns beautiful red hues in fall and winter. Plant as you would any of the other azaleas: high and in well-drained, acid soil, rich with organic matter.
More here...

• Rhododendron 'Ro getsu', azalea:
SJG 6/16/11 • Rhododendron 'Ro Getsu', azalea - corolla white with pink sectors;
top W side of steps leading to Kobe lantern, Area O
Ro Getsu 13 days later: SJG 6/29/11

SJG 6/16/11 • Rhododendron 'Ro Getsu', azalea
- close-up of different colored flowers, Area O
SJG 6/16/11 • Rhododendron 'Ro Getsu', azalea  - another close-up

Info on the plant in BackyardGardener.com:

Rhododendron (Rogetsu Satsuki Hybrid Azalea)
The Satsuki Japanese azaleas are believed to have originated several hundred years ago from natural crosses between R. indicum and R. tamarae. (R. tamarae was formerly known as R. eriocarpum and before that as R. simsii var. eriocarpum.) Later, horticulturists continued the crosses between these two species as well as others. Compact, low-growing, evergreen shrub that is twiggy and dense with a spreading to rounded form. The small leaves (1/2 to 2 inches long) vary widely in shape, usually lance-shaped to elliptic. Flowers, often multicolored in various patterns, are borne from May to June and also vary in size (from less than one to more than five inches) and shape. Satsukis are the most popular azaleas in Japan, especially for bonsai culture. In the garden, this is a front of the border shrub because of its lower height--perfect for the smaller garden.
More here...

• Camellia sinensis, Camellia (Tea Plant):

SJG 6/16/11 • Camellia sinensis, Camellia (Tea Plant); Area O
Are we meeting its cultural requirements?:(

  USDA Plant profile shows the plant present only in FL, GA, NC, SC.  Other sources say it can be grown outdoors in Zone 8 or above;  if  colder than that, one can grow it in a greenhouse or a pot that you bring indoors in the winter. National Gardening Association Zone Finder  (type 98112) shows that SJG is in Zone 7B, and SJG being in the lowest part of Arboretum probably has its own, cooler microclimate.  Looking through available info (below) indicates  that our Tea Plant's  present location  seems to full-fill its climatic requirements and sun exposure, but it's on the hill, so I wonder about 'plenty of water' requirements - irrigation or terrace needed?

American Camellia Society is of opinion that Seattle is  perfectly zoned to grow it:

Growing Camellia Sinensis
Camellia sinensis can be grown in most moderate zones in the United States. Zones 7, 8 & 9 provide the most suitable outdoor climates althought it can be grown in greenhouses and/or protected areas in colder climate zones or used in containers where you could protect it from severe freezes. Camellia sinensis will perform well in areas in bright light or full sun with balanced nutrients and plenty of water. Species Name: Camellia sinensis (Large Leaf - White Flowering cultivars) Growth Habit: Upright, bushy growth Bloom Time: Fall Maintainable Height: 3-4’ or larger Soil Conditions: Moist, well drained acid soil Light Conditions: Full sun to part shade.
More here....

 Found this info on Imperial Gardens website, which mentions importance of preventing soil erosion:
Tea bushes are planted from three to four feet apart and planted in rows which follow the natural contour of the landscape. Tea is also grown on specially prepared terraces to help irrigation and to prevent soil erosion.

More here...

International Camellia Society has this to say:

They love warm wet summers and moderately cold dry winters, but can prosper surprisingly well in a range of adverse climatic conditions, tolerating dry summers and wet winters. Frost hardiness is -5°C (25°F) in pots and about -15 to -20°C ( 0 to 5°F) in open ground. Research is presently done on hybrids with improved cold-hardiness.
More here... 

Finally, checking the GardenWeb forums brings WA state experiences in growing Camellia sinensis, some successful, but most resembling  rather poor results we are achieving in SJG:

I grew one for about 12 years. It got barely over 4 ft. tall with small blossoms. Somebody wanted it more than I, so I sold it. Unremakable is the best way I can describe it. 
I never missed it. [...]

Camellias in general do quite well here - tea camellias benefit from our damp, rainy season but would appreciate partial shade and regular deep irrigation during our dry summers. And they grow rather slowly. Quality teas are harvested from only the buds and top two leaves of any stems, so don't plan too many tea parties any time soon :-) [...]
More here...

• Rhododendron ('Williamson', azalea?): 

Questionable find:  we weren't sure which of the plants in the area meets description from the Plant Book: 2 Rhododendrons 'Williamson', azalea, 1' high.  There was no other plant information to go by, so  we think it is this one, and decided to research it further:

SJG 6/16/11 • Rhododendron ('Williamson', azalea?)
- Area Y, one by the lantern, and the other some 4 m away

SJG 6/16/11 • Rhododendron ('Williamson', azalea?) , Area Y

The research so far turned up big fat O. Nothing on google under Rhododendron 'Williamson', nothing under 'Williamson' azalea and nothing under combo of the two.

American Rhododendron Society (go to Plant Data and do search through rhododendrons and azaleas database) lists nothing with that name on its list of  azaleas, and only Rhododendron williamsianum (Williams rhododendron) on its list of rhododendrons - different animal, not azalea.   Giving up for now.

While searching came across A MONOGRAPH OF AZALEAS - by BY ERNEST HENRY WILSON AND ALFRED REHDER, issued April 15th, 1921 (paper copy in Berkeley Library, U of California).  A perfect time waster for azalea lovers, among others has info on:
THE AZALEAS OP THE OLD WORLD. By Ernest Henry Wilson . 1
THE AZALEAS OF NORTH AMERICA. By Alfred Rehder .... 107


JUNE, p. 3: the burning bush that wasn't

• Euonymus alatus, winged spindle tree:

SJG 6/9/11 • Euonymus alatus, winged spindle tree - leaves vivid red in fall
(The tree, NOT the bush underneath it);  corner where Azumaya and W paths meet, Area R

SJG 6/9/11 • Euonymus alatus, winged spindle tree; close-up of what? flower? fruit?
HELP! area R

This is a write-up on Euonymus from 'Sunny Gardens':
Burning Bush Euonymus, Winged Euonymus, Winged Spindle Tree

In temperate climates, these deciduous or evergreen shrubs, small trees, ground covers or evergreen climbing vines are valued for their foliage and form. Use larger types as landscape plants, and prune to shape and control growth. Fruits are colorful, with pink, red, orange or yellow hulls. Their orange seeds attract birds. Flowers are inconspicuous. All grow in most soils. Some evergreens tolerate city and coastal conditions and are hardy in cold and hot climates. Water moderately until established. Prune to shape at any time.
More on its habits here...

Kathy just added that Ohio State University has an excellent website for landscape plants with good pictures and info. Here is their entry on Euonymus alatus:
[...] • Trunk:

brown and slightly fissured, usually multitrunked and branching very low to the ground
with advanced maturity, some shrubs (especially the species form) can be limbed up into multitrunked tree form, or truly "specimen" shrub form. (AHA!)
[...] • Translation:

Euonymus translates as "good name" (used ironically, since this genus once had a bad reputation for poisoning cattle).
alatus (sometimes alternatively spelled alata) translates as "winged," referring to the corky stems of the species form. [...]
More here....

• Rhododendron arborescens, sweet azalea:
SJG 6/9/11 • Rhododendron arborescens, sweet azalea - fragrant flowers in summer;
white corollas with red pistils; (the bush UNDER the tree);
corner where Azumaya and W paths meet, Area R

SJG 6/9/11 • Rhododendron arborescens, sweet azalea, close-up, only in buds now

This is a write up on Rhododendron arborescens from US Forest Service:

Smooth azalea is named for its fragrant flowers that are white to pale pink in color with five red stamens that extend well beyond the petals (known as exerted stamens) are quite showy. In the fall, the foliage turns deep red to purple in color. 
More here...

And a confession:  the azalea under the euonymus tree (= burning bush) DOES have remarkably fiery red leaves in autumn and is shaped just  like the fire bush on my street, so I have been telling tall tales for years, pointing to it and claiming it's fire bush while ignoring the real fire bush above it, which is trained like a tree. Oh, well, live and learn...

• Rhododendron hybrid, azalea:
SJG 6/9/11 • Rhododendron hybrid, azalea - corolla pink;
coming to the zig-zag bridge, by Acer palmatum  'Samidare', Area Q
SJG 6/16/11 • Rhododendron hybrid, azalea -
same azalea, a week later, blooming fully

SJG 6/9/11 • Rhododendron hybrid, azalea, close-up;
this hybrid seems to have hose in  hose flowers?

• Rhododendron mucronatum 'Sekidera', azalea:

SJG 6/9/11 • Rhododendron mucronatum 'Sekidera', azalea - some flowers pink, some white,
on the W path, close to zig-zag bridge; Area V.
Note that it's almost done blooming here -  earlier pic of bloom starting on 5/26 is in MAY, part 5 chapter

• Acer palmatum 'Koto-no-ito':

SJG 6/9/11 • Acer palmatum 'Koto-no-ito';
coming to moon-viewing platform  on W path, area V

SJG 6/9/11 • Acer palmatum 'Koto-no-ito';
close-up bamboo-like leaves
I will soon do separate post on 'Koto-no-ito' leaves, changing color through seasons - here they are changing from green to red hues...

• Rhododendron calendulaceum, Flame azalea (D = deciduous):

SJG 6/9/11 • Rhododendron calendulaceum, Flame azalea (D)
- corolla orange red; Area V

SJG 6/9/11 • Rhododendron calendulaceum, Flame azalea; close-up, Area  V

• Rhododendron hybrid:

SJG 6/9/11 • Rhododendron hybrid; Area H
Actually, I'm not sure about this one - there are only azaleas listed for area H, no rhododendrons,
and this big and 'in your face' showy plant must have a better description than just  'hybrid'.
It attracts the eye from the  W path, as it blooms right  over the pond.

SJG 6/9/11 • Rhododendron hybrid, close-up; Area H

• Rhododendron 'Bagdad', azalea:

SJG 6/9/11 • Rhododendron 'Bagdad', azalea; AREA? confused...
It was on one of the the short-cuts, W path, E of the tea house...
Probably Area F
SJG 6/9/11 • Rhododendron 'Bagdad', azalea; close-up,  AREA?
(W path, crossing the stones E of Tea house)

• Water- lilies or lotus?

SJG 6/9/11 • water lilies. Not in the plant book. Photo by Lynnda.
They look like lotus, but I'm told lotus is tropical, or near tropical flower,
does not grow here, in Seattle,so must be type of water lilies. 

Actually, just found out that this type of red water lily is called Nymphaea 'Attraction':

Blooming Time: Day
  Flower Description: 6 to 8" flowers; inner petals are deep garnet red; outer petals are lighter; cup-like shape becomes stellate; slight fragrance
Leaf Description: 10 to 12" green leaves; new leaves are light bronze; spread of 4 to 5'
Comments: Free flowering; good cut flower; inner petals subject to burning; vigorous; tolerates partial shade; will grow in water up to 3'; tolerates summer heat better than most red water lilies


JUNE, p. 2: wisteria, 'Omato' maple and is your name 'Cynthia'?

• Wisteria floribunda, Japanese wisteria/Fuji:

SJG 6/9/11 • Wisteria floribunda, Japanese wisteria/Fuji;
2 of them climbing the trellis in NE corner of the pond; Area K
SJG 6/9/11 • Wisteria floribunda, Japanese wisteria/Fuji;
Close-up - wisteria vines twine clockwise,
or at least our Plant Book says so - I can't see it...

• Rhododendron hybrid, rhododendron ("Cynthia"?):

SJG 6/9/11 • Rhododendron hybrid, rhododendron; against E fence; Area M

SJG 6/9/11 • Rhododendron hybrid, rhododendron; close-up; Area M

All four of us on the last Thursday  ID-expedition had hoped this spectacular rhododendron blooming right now by the kasuga lantern in NE corner of the Garden (and all over town - Seattle probably being the rhododendron capital of the world) has some exotic name. Alas, it is only marked as 'hybrid'...  

I still suspect it has some additional name, to differentiate it from myriad of other R. hybrids - put the 'rhododendron hybrid' into google image and you will see what I mean...  Well, I just did it, and the first  hit came up as a british poster, depicting exactly what we have, with the description Rhododendron Hybrid "Cynthia";  now I run Rhododendron Hybrid "Cynthia" through google images and came up with pages upon pages of the same reddish-pink huge flower - mainly from British websites, appropriately named 'pictures of england', 'otterhead estate' or 'beautiful gardens uk' - must be really loved there.  Here is one from American Rhododendron Society:

American Rhododendron Society - Photo by: Kenneth Cox
It came with following description:
Seed Parent x Pollen Parent: catawbiense hybrid 
Predominate Flower Color: Pink 
Flower / Truss Description: Flower funnel-shaped, 3⅛" across, rose-pink with deeper red staining on the upper lobe. Held in conical trusses of about 24 flowers. 
Fragrant: No 
Bloom Time: Midseason 
Height (ft.) in 10 Yrs: 6 
Cold Hardiness Temperature: -15°F  (-26°C)
Foliage Description / Plant Habit: Leaves oblong, about 6" long, medium green, hang down in winter months. Dome-shaped habit. Sun and heat tolerant. 

So,  Rhododendron Hybrid by kasuga lantern:  is thy name 'Cynthia"?  

If it is, here is an interesting write-up on cultivating your family of plants on the west coast USA (Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens in CA), with a beautiful pic, as well:

[...]Mr. Schick also donated his collection of big-leaf Rhododendrons. These do not bloom till they reach the age of ten years or more; their leaves may grow to 25 inches in length. They do well near streams and many of them have been planted along Digger Creek.

[...] Tender species rhododendrons are found between 25 and 35 degrees latitude at elevations between 4000 and 9000 feet in their native habitats in Burma, China and Tibet. Growing on steep slopes in temperate rain forests, they require shelter from wind and direct sun, excellent drainage, and temperatures between 20 and 70 degrees F. This combination of climatic elements is hard to find anywhere outside their native ranges. Small areas of New Zealand, southeast Australia, southern coastal Chile and a limited part of South Africa have similar climates.[...]

• Acer palmatum 'Omato', Japanese maple:

SJG 6/9/11 • Acer palmatum 'Omato', Japanese maple - red leaf, on island between paths; Area K
SJG 6/9/11 • Acer palmatum 'Omato', Japanese maple - red leaf close-up; Area K
SJG 6/9/11 • Acer palmatum 'Omato', Japanese maple - samara (seed) close-up; Area K

A samara is a type of fruit in which a flattened wing of fibrous, papery tissue develops from the ovary wall. A samara is a simple dry fruit and indehiscent (not opening along a seam). They are winged achenes. The shape of a samara enables the wind to carry the seed farther away than regular seeds from the parent tree:
• The seed can be in the centre of the wing, as in the elms (genus Ulmus) and the hoptree (Ptelea trifoliata).
• The seed can be on one side, with the wing extending to the other side, making the seed autorotate as it falls, as in the maples (genus Acer) and ashes (genus Fraxinus).

A samara is sometimes called a key and is often referred to as a whirlybird, helicopter, whirligig, polynose, or, in the north of England, a spinning jenny.

Some species that normally produce double samaras, such as Acer pseudoplatanus, can also produce a few multi-lobed samaras with 3 or 4 seeds.

• Rhododendron 'Caroline Gable', azalea:

SJG 6/9/11 • Rhododendron 'Caroline Gable', small azalea by the water,
corolla carmine pink, hose in hose; N side of the pond, Area Q
SJG 6/9/11 • Rhododendron 'Caroline Gable', azalea, close-up; Area Q

SJG 6/9/11 • Rhododendron 'Caroline Gable', azalea -
better view of the double flower (hose in hose): Area Q

• Unplanted, wild and ubiquitous: 

Japanese Garden is generally NOT about flowers, and the ones present are supposed to be 'natural' to the habitat (meaning no exotic roses or dahlias, not even tulips or cosmos),  which is why SJG was specifically designed with over-abundance of rhodies - they are natural to PNW habitat and very much loved here (Rhododendron IS Washington state's official flower).   I'm pretty sure the gardeners do not weed-out crocuses and snowdrops  in winter (no proof, the garden is closed in winter), just as the small daisies and buttercups are allowed to stay through spring:

SJG 6/9/11 • small daisies grow in the grassy carpet of the orchard

SJG 6/9/11 • and so are buttercups

• Added BONUS in June (thanks to daisies and buttercups):

 Virginia Tech has a nice "weed guide" site with excellent pictures.

- Virginia Tech Weed Identification Guide entry for Chrysanthemum leucanthemum (daisy)
- Virginia Tech Weed Identification Guide entry for Ranunculus bulbosus (buttercup).