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guess the location: plants seldom seen on the east coast

Posted by davidrt28 7 (My Page) on
Sat, May 18, 13 at 13:43

The subject says it all. Yellow rhododendrons may be common in some collector's garden, but you seldom see them in collections.

Acer shirawhatever 'Aureum'

West coast Dogwood:

Nice yellow rhodie:

huge Davidia:

lastly, everone's favorite:


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RE: guess the location: plants seldom seen on the east coast

  • Posted by bboy USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA (My Page) on
    Sat, May 18, 13 at 14:09

Rhododendron is probably 'Butterfly', there are plenty of more impressive yellows.


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RE: guess the location: plants seldom seen on the east coast

"there are plenty of more impressive yellows"

Of course there are, and none of them grow on the east coast. That being said this one was a somewhat better yellow in person. That particular shade isn't picked up well by camera CCDs.

I don't believe this was a named hybrid though...which could be considered a clue.

BBoy I was predicting you'd say Cornus nuttalii is considered ungroweable on the east coast. According to some PNW nurseryowners I've spoken to on the phone, that is a widely held belief there. That was actually the most shocking plant in this garden to me, not the monkey puzzle. Even the east coast/west coast hybrid is considered very difficult; an 'Eddie's White Wonder' died w/in 1 week of the weather turning hot and humid many years ago for me. I don't know enough about Dogwoods to know if it might have been mislabeled. Bark does not look like C. florida to me but the plant wasn't blooming yet. I'd never looked it up but Jacobson surprising lists a Pacific Dogwood selected in Tennessee of all places. So maybe certain clones are more tolerant to east coast conditions and Eddie's White Wonder didn't come from that stock. I just checked Swarthmore's list and Longwood's list...if they don't have it, it's darn hard to bring to maturity on the east coast. And they don't.
OTOH the 'Venus' hybrid is 25% C. nuttalii and grows very well here.

This post was edited by davidrt28 on Sat, May 18, 13 at 15:09


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RE: guess the location: plants seldom seen on the east coast

Turns out I did photograph the label, which was harrowing because the thing was swarming with bees.
It is an unnamed hybrid which is 25% R. wardii in ancestry. And I've looked for some pictures of 'Butterfly' now, it's definitely more yellow than that.


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RE: guess the location: plants seldom seen on the east coast

checked a couple more places
Even the Arnold Arboretum doesn't have a Cornus nuttalii. This tree may be unique in an east coast publicly accessible garden. If it is correctly labeled.
Nearby there was also a huge Abies grandis in the garden but the foliage was at least 20' up so not worth trying to photograph. (in fact it may have been shading the C. nuttalii - how fitting) Someone was in the mood to experiment with western plants, clearly.


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RE: guess the location: plants seldom seen on the east coast

Something just occurred to me, after almost 20 years! (it's about time - but then, I didn't know as much 20 years ago)

The 'Eddie's White Wonder' I tried when I was a teen could have been grafted onto cheaply available C. nuttalii seedings in the PNW, since that is obviously where it came from. Could help explain why it died so quickly. Might have lasted longer, or permenantly, on C. florida or one of the Rutgers hybrids. Anthracnose is still only a sporadic problem around here.

In any case, I wish I could see this one bloom to see if it really is C. nuttalli. My guess is it probably is and somehow they just got lucky. It wouldn't have been a plant to be confused in the trade even 60 years ago. Getting native plants from the west coast to the east coast was a huge ordeal before the 1950s, as I know from studying the history of the east coast's coastal redwoods.


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Planting Fields Arboretum

And the winner is...nobody! Though I was amused that someone took the time to disparage our east coast yellows as inferior.
Of course this could only be on Long Island, that of the still hot but not as hot summers. The closest we probably have to a prime rhododendron growing area on the east coast. And, apparently mild enough for Cornus nuttallii, though I still question whether the plant could be an inadvertent hybrid or whatnot. It wasn't blooming yet which would have allowed a definitive ID.


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RE: guess the location: plants seldom seen on the east coast

Hi Davidrt28,
Is the MP Tree at Planting Fields Arboretum?


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RE: guess the location: plants seldom seen on the east coast

  • Posted by bboy USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA (My Page) on
    Fri, May 31, 13 at 23:12

Rhododendron collections back there probably have some nice yellow cultivars, with bushy growth and decisive coloring. Maybe something produced by David Leach, if nothing else.

As it appears in your photo it simply isn't an impressive yellow rhododendron, as far as these go, and that is a fact.


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RE: guess the location: plants seldom seen on the east coast

Neat, I'd heard that Monkey Puzzle was hardy to zone 7, but I'd never seen one.


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RE: guess the location: plants seldom seen on the east coast

  • Posted by botann z8 SEof Seattle (My Page) on
    Sat, Jun 1, 13 at 13:53

Our native Cornus nuttalliii aren't doing very well for the most part. I have a large volunteer in partial shade at the edge of some woods. It has Anthracnose so bad I'm taking it down.
The blooms on my Butterfly rhododendron were so bland I didn't notice them this year. It is in an out of the way spot though.
I've been to the Arnold Arboretum and New York, but not Long island.
My Davidia is doing fine next to a Beech.
Mike.......Ossario's garden?


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RE: guess the location: plants seldom seen on the east coast

The leaves of the first maple, somewhat, look like Norway maple ...


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RE: guess the location: plants seldom seen on the east coast

No, no, it was Planting Fields Arboretum! I guess people missed the bolded subject line: I tend to tune them out too, sometimes.

The MP is not very old and not what I would call mature yet. Funnily, there is anecdotal evidence that a MP has survived on Martha's Vineyard since the 1950s, at the Polly Hill arboretum. Planted by the eponymous doyenne of the rare herself. But supposely it dies back every few years and doesn't get very tall??? Until I've bothered to contact the garden for more details, I'm taking that with a grain of salt. I doubt most conifers would survive such a regime.

BBoy, if a yellow on the east coast even looks yellow, it's one of our better yellows! It may not look good to you in the picture; I've noticed camera CCDs have trouble with that shade. Even various PNW yellows don't photograph as well as they really are; I saw some sacrificial 'Karalees' at Rarefind many moons ago; they looked much better than they did in pictures on the web. This plant was certainly yellower than say, the David Leach hybrid 'Capistrano'.


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RE: guess the location: plants seldom seen on the east coast

And FWIW, lankiness is considered a problem in many east coast yellows bred on Long Island, of the Hardgrove/Murcott swarm, so to speak. The perfect little bun 'Nancy Evans' won't grow here, even on Long Island.


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RE: guess the location: plants seldom seen on the east coast

I wonder how old the monkey puzzle is? Around 20 years ago P Fields started putting in more borderline stuff like camellias, crape myrtles, trachy palms.... Things that used to freeze out over the winter. The davidia is a cool tree, I never noticed it until seeing it in full bloom.
I've moved out of the area, but if you get a chance a picture of the giant sequoia would be nice :) it's not big yet but was growing steadily.


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RE: guess the location: plants seldom seen on the east coast

I did see the Sequoiadendron. I don't really think they are that attractive until they reach 500 ;-). So I didn't take a picture of it.


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