Hansen's Northwest Native Plant Database
|Northwest Native Plant Newsletter and Journal, March 2002|
Do” List For Native Plants For Early Spring
– Beautiful Native Shrubs That Will Not Be Called “Berberis”
– Propagating Northwest Willows By Cuttings
Three Northwest Native Maples!
5 – About Trilliums – Again!
Notes – Sanctuary!!
8 – Next Issue
Mahonia aquifolium (Tall Oregon Grape)
– “To Do” List For Native Plants For Early Spring, 2002
– Mahonia – Beautiful Native Shrubs
Will Not Be Called “Berberis”
Will Not Be Called “Berberis”
The northwest is blessed with three species of Mahonia – (Oregon Grape) – Mahonia aquifolium, Mahonia nervosa and Mahonia repens. Each species has its own characteristics and uses. But first, let us resolve the botanical name. At first the genus was “Mahonia.” There is some important office somewhere that changed the genus name to “Berberis” and assumed that all would follow. But something went wrong and none of the folks that work with this wonderful plant accepted the new genus name. I never see the name “Berberis” any more except in old books.
Propagating Northwest Willows By Cuttings
you from time to time to propagate your own native plants from cuttings –
softwood, semi-hardwood and winter cuttings. If you hesitate, try willows,
which are very easy to start from cuttings.
I grow six
species of willows – Pacific,
Arrowyo, Scoulers, Columbia
River Gorge, Sitka and Hookers. These species are native to this part of
the northwest – the Willamette Valley and north. There are hundreds of
species/varieties throughout the USA and Canada. There are willows at the
Arctic Circle. Sometimes they are very difficult to identify. Some are
shrubs and some are trees. In general, willows like wet areas but some
species can stand dry areas.
It is best to
take cuttings in the mid winter but usually March is OK also. You can wrap
in plastic and keep for a while in a refrigerator. You do not need to
treat with rooting hormone. Collect young branches and keep in a moist
plastic bag until processed. Make cuttings of 12” to as long as 6 ft.
Remove extra branches and any leaves and insert in the ground, leaving six
inches or more above ground, in the air. You must plant so the buds point
upward. They will not survive if planted “upside-down.” If the ground
is hard or rocky use an iron rod to make a hole and then insert the
cutting so as not to tear the buds. Longer cuttings can be used to get
down to lower levels for access to water. It is fun to work with cuttings.
Try these easy cuttings first and move on from there. Most gardeners can
recognize willows, even if the species is unknown. Observe carefully the
conditions in which the mother tree is found. If you like the tree and it
is OK to take the cuttings, go ahead! (Note – with water, willows grow
very fast – 5 ft and more.)
– The Maples of The Northwest
maple genus, Acer, has over 100
members scattered across Asia and North America. Desired for breath-taking
displays of color in the fall and resilient wood, the three native maples
found in the rugged Pacific northwest afford both splendor and merit.
Acer circinatum (vine maple) and
Acer glabrum (Douglas Maple) are deciduous shrubs or small trees
that present brilliant autumn shades of deep cherry reds and coppery
oranges. Acer macrophyllum (Bigleaf
Maple) is a deciduous tree that forms splendid large leaves within its
tall, broad crown. During the long days of summer, the lush foliage
provides welcomed relief from the heat. The hardy burls formed at the
bottom of the Bigleaf Maple’s trunk are especially valued for their
strength and attractive grain pattern. The maple genus is recognizable by
their oppositely arranged leaves with few to many palmate lobes and dry,
winged fruits called samaras.
Trilliums - Again! (July Newsletter, 2001)
My trilliums are up again – Easter is coming!! They have not bloomed yet but are a beautiful sight already! They will reach their peak of beauty around Easter. Trilliums are my lifelong favorite. As a depression kid in Washington State near the Canadian border way out in the country, we called trilliums, “Easter Lilies.” I loved those trilliums, along the damp, shady creek bottoms. I picked them for my Mother, who always was so thankful!
I have an ancient, huge dictionary belonging to my Grandfather, dated about 1900. I found a very fragile but complete dried Western Trillium, with rose tints, between the pages. Some shy country girl carefully placed it there about a hundred years ago – something of beauty – something of purity –which still touches the heart one hundred years later.
I rediscovered the magic of trilliums 11 years ago, here in Oregon. One day I was exploring a nearby deep gulch with a small stream. Growth was very dense and in late March, among the tall firs and the lower vine maples, my passage was nearly impossible. I struggled under and over and through the intricate vine maples. The dense overhead leaves created a twilight zone. Suddenly I caught a glimpse of a flash of white ahead. Curious, I crawled toward this “white” object and suddenly came upon a huge Western Trillium – beautiful, perfect glossy green slightly mottled leaves and stunning white petals. Such a striking, beautiful symbol of Spring and Beauty and Renewal – a composite feeling of all that is good and worthwhile and joyful and eternal. To me, the trillium is the true Easter Lily for those of us in the northwest or even in the northern hemisphere (no trilliums in the southern hemisphere). These have been called the Trinity Lily, of special meaning to those of the Christian faith. But all faiths share in the joy of spring and renewal – the trillium is a universal symbol.
– Help Wanted
I need to
hire part time assistance. I need help in research and writing some
articles on different native plant species. This requires a computer at
home and someone close enough to come to the nursery from time to time. I
also need some part time clerical help here at the nursery. I like to work
with those who love native plants and at least know gardening. Please send
me an email if you are interested.
7 - Personal Notes - - SANCTUARY!
Sanctuary – an ancient concept, a special holy place within a religious
structure where one is safe from enemies. Wildlife within a wildlife
sanctuary are safe from hunters. Your private wildlife habitat can be a
sanctuary for both wildlife and native plants. Why not a private sanctuary
for yourself also?
How does a garden become a personal sanctuary? I don’t have a clear
definition or “how to” instructions. Perhaps you readers do. In my own
gardens I have a feeling of protection, of calmness, of strength (from the
big conifers and oaks), of wonder and mystery at the constantly changing
life forms and seasons. And always artistic enjoyment of the myriad colors
and forms and textures so richly before me.
I would like to hear from some of you “How does a garden become a
E-mail comments are welcome. (Note from Jennifer: As did Wally, I also welcome your email comments!)